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2018 F1

No short-term Renault deal for Alonso – Abiteboul

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Renault has not outright denied a rumour suggesting Fernando Alonso could drive for the team in 2019.

The French team currently runs Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz, but the latter is in doubt as he is merely ‘on loan’ from Red Bull for a year.

“We are not in a hurry and we also have to see what are the side effects of the (Red Bull) decision on the engine,” said team boss Cyril Abiteboul.

“But in general the drivers we have work well and we would like to keep them. But I am also calm in the sense that, if we have a good car and progress as a team, we will have a selection of drivers who want to be with us.”

And one of those drivers could be Alonso, who won his two titles with Renault over a decade ago.

The 36-year-old Spaniard currently drives for McLaren, whose competitiveness has not improved markedly since the decision was made to end the works Honda era.

Abiteboul told Marca: “I don’t want to encourage that rumour.

“I think Fernando first has to decide what he wants to do for himself, which is whether to continue driving in F1 or not,” said the Frenchman.

“We have a lot of respect for Fernando, but we are more interested in drivers who want to be with us in the long term.

“We could still reach an agreement with Alonso, but doing it for a year would not make sense,” Abiteboul added.

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