Renault F1 News: Team Boss Cyril Abiteboul reveals why Fernando Alonso was chosen over Sebastian Vettel for the 2021 season.
After it was confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo would be moving to McLaren, Renault began their search for a replacement. The search ended with arguably Renault’s greatest F1 driver in Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard won both of his two World Drivers’ Championship with Renault.
But, quite a few people were surprised that Renault did not go ahead with one of their academy prospects. Their Renault Sport Academy has two brilliant talents in Guanyu Zhou and Christian Lungaard. As it turns out, their were not in the shortlist to replace Ricciardo for a technicality. Team Boss Cyril Abiteboul spoke to Motorsport.com, revealing the reason.
“It has been a mix of the things that I have mentioned previously. The timing was also important, in particular for the younger option that you mentioned coming from our academy. We remain extremely committed to the Renault Sport Academy and in particular Guanyu Zhou and Christian Lungaard in F2”.
“But we may have to wait until mid-December to know if they have super licenses for next year. And that would not have been an option frankly.”
Fernando Alonso preferred over Sebastian Vettel?
This is the time when Sebastian Vettel’s departure from Ferrari had been announced, and he too was on the lookout for a team. It was heavily suggested that Vettel could move to Renault, with the German confirming he had talks with them. Also in the fray was Nico Hulkenberg, who eventually made a short return to F1 with Racing Point earlier this season. Abiteboul spoke about this, elaborating why Alonso was always their preferred option.
“Going back to the others, I guess that above everything else, I would mention motivation. The mix of the mindset and motivation were an important element, plus also the timing of this (pandemic).”
As it turns out, it looks likely that Sebastian Vettel will move to Aston Martin next season. As for Nico Hulkenberg, Alfa Romeo looks most likely, with Haas also being spoken of as an option.