Renault F1 is aiming to make Nico Hulkenberg their long-term standard bearer and inspiration, according to managing director Cyril Abiteboul.

Abiteboul said that he wanted Hulkenberg to be as synonymous with the manufacturer in the future as Lewis Hamilton now was with Mercedes, or Sebastian Vettel had been with Red Bull.

“I hope in a couple of years down the road, if we are successful together, that people will associate Nico and Renault,” Abiteboul told this week. “But first thing comes first, we have to do the job.”

“We think we have a great driver in Nico, but he also has the capacity because it is a long-term project with Nico, to make him a great ambassador for Renault,” he said.

“People say he has a low profile, but to us it is a great opportunity because a driver is not just a driver.”

  • Hulkenberg advises Renault to keep it simple and focus on the important things

And Abiteboul rubbished recent reports in the media that the seat had been offered to a number of other drivers before finally striking a deal with Hulkenberg.

“There is something that has been misrepresented in my opinion,” he insisted. “People say that the Renault project is not attractive enough, that the ambition is not there, or that the financial resources are not there. It is not true.

“I guarantee you that no one has turned down any of our offers. I would say it is quite the opposite. Some people made representations that they were free to contract with us, when it was not the case.

“We have had a lot of interest and Nico was among the top choices, so we are very happy that he is joining us

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