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Renault confirm Hulkenberg contract clause amid Ocon rumours

Renault confirm Hulkenberg contract clause amid Ocon rumours

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Renault confirm Hulkenberg contract clause amid Ocon rumours

Renault confirm Hulkenberg contract clause amid Ocon rumours

Renault team principal strongly hinted at a renewal clause in Nico Hulkenberg's contract with the team, but stopped short of confirming that the German will remain on the French team in 2020, amid long-term reports of interest in Esteban Ocon.

Daniel Ricciardo's arrival at Renault this year closed the door on Ocon's expected arrival, with the Frenchman then left without a race seat after Lance Stroll ousted him at Racing Point.

Hulkenberg's deal expires at the end of 2019, while Ocon recently suggested that he has begun talks on returning to the grid next year.

Asked if a switch could be made, Abiteboul talked up Hulkenberg's contributions to the team, but insisted Renault's options remain open.

"We have a two-year contract with Daniel," Abiteboul said.

"Nico's contract, the initial term is coming to an end at the end of this year but there is some mechanism of options as has been commented on press which I'm not going to disclose in the details that can kick in, so it's maybe that we continue our journey with Nico.

Frankly, Nico has delivered for the team, clearly, and if you look at where we were when, Fred [Vassuer] actually was leading that process for us… Nico joined us and where we are today, it's crazy and the change to the team, to the buzz, and clearly the drivers are no stranger to that, it's not just engineers.

"So I think we need to give credit to that but also we need to look at the options, like everyone is doing, like I'm sure Nico is doing.

"So, it's a long answer to tell you that things are open for him and for us but there is also an option in place so that we can possibly continue our journey together.

"We will see, we'll see probably after the summer break will be the right time to sit down, discuss it on the basis of fact and desire also."

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