Renault will not be satisfied it has made progress with its power unit until it is winning races, according to deputy managing director (technical) Rob White.
After a torrid pre-season, Renault showed clear signs of progress during the Australian Grand Prix weekend. It got three teams in to the top ten in qualifying – including Daniel Ricciardo on the front row – and finished the race with both Toro Rossos in the points after Ricciardo was excluded having originally finished second.
Speaking to Crash.net
during an exclusive interview ahead of the race
, White allayed fears that it would take a long time for Renault to catch up with its F1 rivals but said it won't count just being competitive as success.
“We've been in Formula One a long time, we know a lot about going racing, we're in Formula One to win races and we won't be satisfied until we're winning races,” White said. “Formula One is an extraordinarily difficult competition in which to succeed. We are determined to get back to where we need to be. It's completely obvious for both our internal stakeholders – our parent company – and our external partners, it's not acceptable to be uncompetitive and therefore we have to get ourselves back.
“We shouldn't underestimate the competition; Formula One is difficult for everybody. Everybody was setting out to shoot at us previously and we want to get back to where people are asking the question in the opposite sense.”
And White also admitted that it had been “backs against the wall” at Renault in the build up to the opening race but said it would not be easing off despite the encouraging signs.
“It's been a hard slog, but not just the couple of weeks before the first race. There's no escaping that there's a mounting intensity and the race is the acid test of where everybody is relative to one another. Particularly coming off the back of a pre-season test campaign that wasn't at the level of achievement that we wanted it to be at then inevitably it is backs to the wall, a lot of work to be done in the lead up to the race. It didn't start two weeks ago and it hasn't finished yet.”