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Renault make early bid to make Sainz move permanent beyond 2018

Written by  May 09, 2018

Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul has revealed the works team is making an early attempt to secure the future of Carlos Sainz beyond 2018.

Currently, the Spaniard is on loan to the French manufacturer from the Red Bull program and is believed to be first in line to step up to the Milton Keynes-based outfit should Daniel Ricciardo leave at the end of the year.

However, having long been a target of Renault, Abiteboul hopes the 22-year-old can be convinced to effectively end his association with the Austrian energy drinks giant and commit himself to their long-term project.

“We have in my opinion still two great drivers, but obviously we have a particular situation with Carlos, which is a contract where we are exposed for next year, and we knew that since day one,” the Frenchman explained to Motorsport.com.

“That’s why we need to start thinking way in advance about what could be the situation and frankly, that is why we have already started discussions with Carlos about longer term, about what can happen beyond this year, accepting that it’s not completely in his hands nor our hands."

With Red Bull slowly returning back as genuine contenders for regular wins and even the championship, the Renault chief acknowledges what his team offers wouldn't be so lucrative in the short-term.

"We need to accept that we are still playing catch up on many areas and one of the areas is also driver market, where we still need to try to be more in control of our future and of our destiny,” he added.

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As for Sainz himself, he remains passive about speculation surrounding his future.

“I am very happy with Renault, I feel privileged to be part of this brand and it seems that Renault is also interested in being able to continue with me in the future," the second generation racer stated.

“But I think it is still too early to talk about the future. We are in the fourth race and it is not yet time to talk about 2019.”

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