Renault’s new Investors want These Drivers for 2017

Ryan Ashenhurst
Ryan Ashenhurst
Ryan Ashenhurst
Contributor

Renault are having a very quiet season in 2016. They’re a works team that currently look like low-budget midfield daydreamers, but 2017 will be the year that they enter the season free of Enstone debt and looking to take full advantage of the incoming regulation overhaul.

One of the big visual changes for the Renault team could be the introduction of a blue livery. This is due to their new investors Movistar and BBVA both operating under blue branding. Both of the companies are Spanish too, and this leads directly to the talent they want in the cars for next season.

Both Movistar and BBVA highly rate Toro Rosso’s flying Spaniard Carlos Sainz, but the Spanish-speaking Sergio Perez is also a prime target. Difficulties arise for Perez when considering his biggest financial sponsor, Telmex, are in direct competition with Movistar in the outside world. Maybe they’ll merge just so Perez can race with Renault next season?

Renault are doing everything they can outside of the racetrack to build themselves as a title-challenging works team of the future. But money can only go so far, they need engineering excellence, in-season upgrades, a competitive car. All of these things need money to work, but to pull off a real turnaround in terms of performance would require the Renault team to better interpret the new regulations than they managed with the introduction of the hybrid engine a few years ago.

Sainz and Perez would be the dream duo. Exciting drivers that have already proven that they can outperform what they’re driving. With the Red Bull link to Renault, Sainz could theoretically drive for the works team and still be in the Red Bull inner-circle, so this could be an option for the Spaniard if he’s looking elsewhere.

Another potential addition for Renault will be James Allison, who left Ferrari to be closer to his family in England. If he decides to come racing again, he was the technical director for Renault last time they were a works team in 2009 and oversaw and managed the transformation into Lotus F1 until he was convinced to Ferrari in 2013.

Source: ZRyzner/Shutterstock
Source: ZRyzner/Shutterstock

It will largely be the same faces at Enstone and the location of the team would allow Allison to remain close to his children, so hopefully that could steer Renault back on track to performing like a works team over the next few seasons.

 

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