Renault is closing in on Sergio Perez

© XPB 

Renault has allegedly entered serious discussions with Force India's Sergio Perez for 2018, according to French daily L'Equipe.

The manufacturer is focused on building its foundation as it aims to return to its past F1 glory, an ambition which requires hiring another top-tier driver to race alongside Nico Hulkenberg from 2018.

But according to L'Equipe, Perez is not only in Renault's line of sight but the French team has even considered poaching the Mexican from Force India and putting him in Jolyon Palmer's car this year given the Brit's disappointing results to date.

That scenario appears rather farfetched however as it's unlikely Force India would release Perez, a highly-valued driver who has delivered consistent results, before the end of his current contract.

The Mexican is also likely to wait and see how the 2018 drivers' market unfolds before committing to any potential deals.

Should Ferrari decide not to extend Kimi Raikkonen's contract, a reasonable possibility, a plum drive with the Scuderia could be just what Perez, and others, are waiting for.

Ultimately, should he decide to join forces with Renault, Perez would be paired with Nico Hulkenberg, a man who was his team mate at Force India between 2014 and 2016.

As for Jolyon Palmer's growing pains, Renault Sport F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul admitted the team's patience was running thin.

"We all need to have results," said Abiteboul.

"Nico shows that the car is able to score points, and Jolyon must also contribute. We are extremely supportive and there is no plan, but we are in an ultra-competitive environment and everyone has the pressure of results.

"For now we give ourselves time to analyse the situation," he added.


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