Max Fewtrell says the “awesome” thought of landing a future Formula 1 drive with Renault keeps him motivated to succeed in 2019.

The reigning Formula Renault Eurocup champion has been retained on the French manufacturer’s junior roster for a third successive year and will step up to the new F1-supporting FIA F3 Series for the upcoming season with leading single-seater outfit ART Grand Prix. 

Renault has targeted promoting one of its young drivers into an F1 race seat by 2021 though a spot could open up earlier, with Nico Hulkenberg’s deal running to the end of 2019, while new signing Daniel Ricciardo has penned a two-year contract. 

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CrashTV: 

Asked by Crash.net how much the prospect of a Renault F1 drive plays on his mind, Fewtrell said: “I don’t think about it throughout the year but I might think of it when I’m sat at home and it’s a great feeling. 

"It really does keep me motivated in the gym, just to think there is a seat, there is an opportunity and that’s why I’m here. 

“That’s why they [Renault] have signed me because they believe in me. It’s a distant thought, I don’t focus on it too much I just focus on the job at hand but it’s awesome to think that it is a possibility.” 

Fewtrell is now the most senior Renault Sport Academy member after Jack Aitken, who carried out reserve driver duties with the F1 team last year and took part in both in-season tests, was not named as part of the programme for 2019. 

Aitken finished 11th in F2 last year - scoring one victory - and has made the switch from ART to Campos, though Renault has not announced whether he will remain part of its F1 line-up, while it also remains to be seen if 2018 test and development driver Artem Markelov will have any role at the Enstone outfit. 

Team executive director Marcin Budkowski said Renault will reveal which drivers will conduct the two in-season tests in 2019 at the French manufacturer’s launch of its new F1 challenger next month. 

“For me jumping in an F1 car is still a dream right now,” Fewtrell added. 

“But I do feel like I could get in a car and do a good job and have a good productive day. I think it would be awesome. 

“It’s just a dream come true to sit in an F1 car and do laps, so that thought is still crazy in my mind. 

"I think if I just keep my head down, focus and perform hopefully the performance will bring some rewards and I do believe that maybe, something might happen.”

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