Eric Boullier admits that more of his time is now turning towards the 2012 F1 season as Renault aims to bounce back from a difficult 2011 campaign.
The team started the year hoping to challenge at the front of the field, but its plans were instead left in disarray when Robert Kubica was injured in an accident while rallying back in February.
Despite a strong start to the year with podium finishes in the first two races of the year, Renault has since dropped away from the front of the field and now finds itself holding on to fifth in the championship standings going into the final races of the year.
While admitting it was a 'priority' to secure the position, team boss Boullier said more and more time was being devoted to next season as the team seeks to return to a level where it can challenge for trophies.
“Frankly speaking, a lot of my thoughts have now turned to next year,” he said. “Whilst the priority remains securing fifth place in the Constructors' Championship and helping nurture Bruno and Vitaly's opportunities to score highly at the next four races, an increasing amount of my time is devoted to seeing how we can raise the bar.
“In many ways, 2011 has been a transitional year for us with a whole range of changes. However, sport throws up many difficulties and it is a test of character as to how one handles them. I like to think we have dealt with things in the right manner and that there will be brighter times ahead. Make no mistake, this team's number one goal is to bring silverware back to Enstone.”
Next up for the team will be the Korean Grand Prix this weekend, where Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov will aim to improve on the two points scored at Suzuka, with technical chief James Allison saying that the exhaust package on the R31 could aid the two drivers in their quest to finish inside the top ten.
“The Korean International Circuit is not a track which favours any particular aspect of the car; it's one where the entire package has to be maximised,” he said. “Whilst there are long straights where a low drag package would be beneficial, there are sufficient corners to require higher levels of downforce for a quick lap. Interestingly, the track surface is very smooth and there are no notable bumps.
“Ally this with no kerbs of any stature and you can run the car very low. This could play to the strengths of our exhaust package as the potentially more constant proximity between car floor and ground should aid and assist hot air flow management.”