Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul says the French manufacturer will consider options beyond Nico Hulkenberg as it considers its driver line-up for the 2020 Formula 1 season.

Hulkenberg, who has raced for Renault since the 2017 season, is out of contract at the end of the current campaign.

Despite the German’s heavy influence on the French squad’s rise up the F1 pecking order, Renault chief Abiteboul admits both parties remain open about their options beyond the end of 2019.

“Frankly, the situation is clear,” Abiteboul said about Renault’s 2020 driver situation.

“We have a two-year contract with Daniel [Ricciardo]. 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, frankly, Fred [Vasseur] 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.”

Renault came close to signing Mercedes protégé Esteban Ocon - who has been left without a seat this year - last year, before ultimately luring Ricciardo from Red Bull.



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