F1 legend and Renault Ambassador Alain Prost believes that Nico Hulkenberg is exactly the right driver to serve the French manufacturer's interests.
While Hulkenberg retired early from Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix following a gearbox failure, he track record this season includes three points-scoring finishes, a visible improvement for Renault compared to last year.
"Nico is very important in this, as he is exactly what we needed at Renault," Prost told SID news agency.
"He's very charismatic and a strong character who can help make the team better and better."
Earlier, Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul played down speculation Fernando Alonso might be heading to Renault for 2018, insisting the yellow-coloured team's rise might take longer.
"We all want to improve quickly," Prost agrees, "but we also have to be careful.
"I know Formula 1 very well and you cannot set unrealistic goals," said the Frenchman.
And so Hulkenberg is leading Renault for now, and the 29-year-old seems patient to wait for his chance to succeed.
"This is a very important phase for me and my career," said the Hulk.
"I believe in this project and I want to work with them to achieve victories and championships. I think this is realistic, even if there are no guarantees in motor sports.
"But the group has all the prerequisites and the financial possibilities," he concluded.