Renault wants customer Formula 1 teams to run its Academy drivers

Renault needs to look at options for using its customer teams to get its Academy drivers into Formula 1, says managing director Cyril Abiteboul

Renault wants customer Formula 1 teams to run its Academy drivers

For 2018, Renault has seven up-and-coming drivers in its Sport Academy set-up, with ART Grand Prix Formula 2 racer Jack Aitken competing in the highest placed category.

Previous incarnations of the RSA supported drivers including Robert Kubica and Heikki Kovalainen on their way to F1, and Abiteboul wants to look at options for helping its current crop onto the grand prix grids.

In recent years, Mercedes has assisted its juniors Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon by placing them at the Manor and Force India teams.

"We need to be sure when the time comes, if we have the right person capable of doing what it takes, of having what it takes, to bring him to F1," Abiteboul said at the unveiling of the 2018 RSA class.

"In my opinion, an important element to that will be how we leverage our engine supply activities.

"Because, for instance if you look at what Mercedes is doing, it's the view that there is a connection between engine supply strategy and driver development strategy.

"In our case, it has helped us this year because the access to Carlos Sainz was also on the back on a larger agreement with Red Bull Racing, which was kicked off by what we've done with McLaren.

"So there is already a connection, but in the future I also want this connection in the favour of the guy coming out from our academy."

Renault is supplying Red Bull and McLaren with engines in the 2018 F1 season, as well as its own works team.

Christian Lundgaard (pictured above) was the only RSA driver to win a title in 2017 - he was victorious in both the SMP Formula 4 championship and the Spanish F4 series - and since its launch in 2016 the current Academy is yet to have a driver graduate to F1.

But, after explaining that the RSA was growing in parallel to the Renault F1 team's rebuilding process since it rejoined grand prix racing for 2016, Abiteboul also emphasised the importance of patience in such a scheme.

"I think we can be quite satisfied," he said.

"If you look at the level of people who have joined us, I think there is no question mark - almost every single one of them has been between one and two in their championship.

"Max Fewtrell [sixth in the 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup] is a bit different but it was his first year and he was the best of the rookies.

"The people we have are showing, again, it's a programme of Renault where we are credible.

"It's going to take a bit of time - I know that we are in a world where everyone is expecting results immediately but when you work with people who are only 16, for the youngest, it's normal that things take time."

shares
comments
McLaren, Renault a 'significant' F1 2018 threat - Force India
Previous article

McLaren, Renault a 'significant' F1 2018 threat - Force India

Next article

Williams: Robert Kubica has 'got to earn' 2019 Formula 1 race seat

Williams: Robert Kubica has 'got to earn' 2019 Formula 1 race seat
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021