Sebastian Vettel is not seen as the “right fit” for Renault by former F1 driver Paul di Resta.
Sebastian Vettel is not the man for Renault and Cyril Abiteboul would be better off signing up Fernando Alonso for when Daniel Ricciardo leaves. That is the verdict of former F1 driver Paul di Resta, who can see Alonso thriving if he makes a comeback at the top level of motorsport with Renault.
Vettel is set to leave Ferrari later this year after it was confirmed he will not be signing a new contract and Carlos Sainz will take his seat.
Red Bull, McLaren and Racing Point have since shut down talk of the four-time F1 champion joining them, while Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, George Russell and Esteban Ocon are ahead of him in the queue for a seat at Mercedes.
Renault, who will lose Ricciardo to McLaren ahead of the 2021 F1 campaign, are a potential option for Vettel.
However, former Force India driver Di Resta cannot envisage Renault plumping for the 32-year-old when Ricciardo departs.
The Scotsman says Alonso, who enjoyed two spells at Renault and won his pair of F1 titles with them, would be a stronger choice for Abiteboul.
“I don’t think Sebastian Vettel is probably the right fit for Renault,” Di Resta told Sky Sports F1. “Fernando Alonso has been there, some people like it, some people don’t.
“But, if you need somebody with reputation and somebody is going to get momentum and show passion for driving, taking everything else out of it, he might be the right fit. Especially given that rules aren’t going to change that quickly.”
Renault have Ocon tied down for 2021 and are unlikely to see him prised away by Mercedes given Hamilton and Bottas’ strong partnership and the fact Russell is higher up the Silver Arrows’ list.
Di Resta and Sky Sports F1 colleague Martin Brundle believe the onus is on the Frenchman to show he can be the main man at Renault this year.
Brundle says that will determine who Ocon’s team-mate is in 2021, with Abiteboul perhaps more inclined to choose another youngster if he can put more expectation on his countryman’s shoulders.
“Will they take on Alonso or Vettel, if he’s interested?” Brundle said. “Alonso’s pretty hot to handle as a driver, are Renault ready for that?
“Or if another Charles Leclerc-style kid turns up on the scene, will they take a risk on that? I think it depends on if Ocon demonstrates he can lead that team.”