Renault contact Bottas over 2021 seat - report

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Renault has reportedly touched base with the manager of Valtteri Bottas over joining the team in 2021.

The Enstone-based outfit has been left with an empty seat next season in the wake of Daniel Ricciardo opting to bail out and join McLaren, replacing the Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz.

Both Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso have been put forward as possible options to race alongside Esteban Ocon, however, given Renault's current midfield status, it's unlikely whether either would be interested in joining.

As for Bottas, the Finn is out of contract at Mercedes for 2021 and, though he reportedly has the support of both Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton to stay on for another year, Daimler is said to be keen on Vettel and then there's also current Williams driver George Russell.

Therefore, claims Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul has identified Bottas' potential availability and is in contact with his manager Didier Coton.

Whether Valtteri would be interested in the Renault seat is another matter, but it could provide a concrete option as Mercedes plays the waiting game to decide their 2021 drivers.

“We are loyal to our current drivers and we don’t want to start the talks at a time when the season hasn’t even started,” team boss Toto Wolff told German broadcasters RTL and NTV this week.

“The Vettel idea would be fantastic from a German point of view, but we must remain true to our principles. Loyalty is important and one of our values. I know Vettel as a person, he is very straightforward and represents values similar to those that I have.

“As an athlete, he is a four-time World Champion, so it is not necessary to discuss his performance.”

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