Renault Sport F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul says the engine manufacturer has “a huge job list” ahead of the 2015 F1 season.
Renault started the season with a large performance deficit compared to Mercedes, with poor reliability adding to the problems and leading Red Bull team principal Christian Horner to label pre-season testing as “disastrous”
. Abiteboul – who returned to Renault having been team principal at Caterham – said Renault was fully aware of the areas it must work on in order to close the gap to Mercedes.
“It's true that second in the constructors' championship is not our usual target, but the result demonstrates that we never stopped pushing hard and constantly improved,” Abiteboul said. “Obviously we have a huge job list ahead of next season, but also a clear direction and focus, as well as the determination to challenge for more wins in 2015.
“Mercedes has set the bar extremely high, most notably in terms of how their Power Unit and chassis teams have seamlessly worked together. We would like to congratulate them on a job well done, no doubt the result of years of determination and hard work at Brackley and Brixworth.
“We also wish to extend our thanks to our partner Total. Their relentless efforts in developing fuels and lubricants contributed to our overall performance this season. We are extremely motivated by the prospect of another season of competition, just as we are determined that the Energy F1 should join the illustrious list of title-winning Renault engines.”
Abiteboul also said Renault should take confidence and motivation from its recovery in 2014, with Daniel Ricciardo the only driver other than Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the two Mercedes' to win a grand prix this year.
“We've had a baptism of fire this year. F1 set itself incredibly high standards with the new engine regulations. We endured a difficult testing period and first few races, but it's a testament to the sport, and the people who dedicate their lives to it, that all its engine manufacturers managed to deliver technologies compliant with the regulations and standards required by Formula One. No one would have expected such a level of competitiveness after pre-season testing.
“As far as we are concerned, everyone at Viry and our partners – technical and teams – put a huge amount of effort into taking such important strides over a short period of time. We reassessed our goals and made a series of tweaks to gradually regain the reliability and performance we expect of ourselves. Three wins and so many points are the result of our non-stop hard work.”