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Ricciardo, Ocon could be partnered with Renault academy driver

Ricciardo, Ocon could be partnered with Renault academy driver

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Ricciardo, Ocon could be partnered with Renault academy driver

Ricciardo, Ocon could be partnered with Renault academy driver

Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul hopes to be in a position to draft a member of the team's young driver programme into Formula 1 by 2021.

The French squad recently announced that Esteban Ocon will race for them in 2020 and 2021, alongside Daniel Ricciardo, whose contract runs up to the end of next year.

Renault currently has two prospects in Formula 2 in Jack Aitken and Guanyu Zhou – fourth and seventh in the drivers' standings respectively – but recently lost Anthoine Hubert after he was killed in a crash in F2's feature race in Belgium.

Hubert had been seen by some as the leading light of Renault's academy after winning GP3 last year and Abiteboul remains committed to continuing F1's recent inclination for giving young drivers a chance.

Abiteboul said: "It was important when given the opportunity to seize the opportunity of a complete driver in Daniel last year and we don't regret that at Renault. Just like right now we think it's the right moment to start having some fresher blood.

"I think it's a trend actually you can see in several teams. We are also interested in young drivers with our academy.

"We hope and expect to have possibly one driver from that academy by 2021. So it's also a shift of dynamic to start really welcoming young drivers in our line-up.

"It's not something that we would have been capable of doing two years ago but I think with more maturity in the team we can now envisage that.

"And that would be a good test to see if we are capable of also managing that because it's a different type of management. Managing someone who is 20, 22 or in his thirties, that's different."

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