Silverstone team representative press conference 2017
Whilst on one hand defending Jolyons progress (or lack of) and offering a number of reasons that we should take into account before making judgement, Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul stated clearly at today’s press conference that 8th in the championship was absolutely not where the team expected or wanted to be an ” urgent action” must be taken to effect a big change. He said recent management changes have stalled decisions and hinted that we might know more in the next few races.
On a possible Kubica return the Renault boss was unable to say that this would not happen. He said the first test was very just getting familiar with F1 cars again and made the obvious point that it would not show any important indicators as to whether he was ready. Perhaps it was more about how comfortable he was in a real cockpit with his physical limitations. Of course, we should remember that testing Robert in a historic car would not class as a private test and such time would not need to be deducted from overall 2017 testing allocations or would require an FIA official present.
Subsequent simulator tests were seen as “more representative” and Abitoulle stated that the former Renault driver was “quick, consistent” and brought back his energy and drive to the team as a whole. When pushed, Abiteboul refused to get off the fence but did say they will not say no. And they care too much for Robert to talk about this right now.
“They do have a development plan for 2018 but it was too early to talk about it.”
Fernando Alonso has also been linked with a possible return and whilst Bouliier would be honoured, he conceded that they are unlikely to be in a position to offer him a race winning car for next year, so a return would be unlikely.