Renault has warned it has only 'humble expectations' for its full-scale return to the Formula 1 World Championship in 2016, but insists it has the commitment and resources to succeed in time.
After months of protracted negotiations, Renault successfully completed its takeover of the Lotus F1 Team earlier this week, putting it in back in charge of the Enstone-based outfit it formerly owned between 2001 and 2009.
Though the team name and management structure won't be announced for another month or so, Renault says it remains well on course to have its first in-house car since 2009 ready for first F1 pre-season test in Barcelona on February 22nd.
However, while Renault's return will prompt an influx of new investment, interim managing director Cyril Abiteboul has warned against overstating expectations on track whilst it restructures behind the scenes.
"The target for next year, it is not just about scoring points in the championship,” he told the BBC
. “We need to be humble in our expectations for next year."
"We've a clear plan, not only for next year but for years to come. Next year will not only be a success if we're doing well on the track.
"There are many things that we want to do well next year, starting with the structure. How well do we integrate the structure? How do we integrate the people, the organisation? How do we put in place the links between the two entities? The culture, the mindset? How do we start catching up properly on the engine?
Indeed, though Renault management is believed to have taken some convincing to agree on a return to F1 as a fully-fledged constructor, Abiteboul insists the French manufacturer is committed financially and understanding of the time it could take to get back to winning ways.
"We know it is going to take time," he continued. "What matters is that the marketing story doesn't wait. We have been very successful in F1 with Red Bull, we have been successful as a competitive team before and, from a marketing stand point and connection between F1 and the rest of the business, we have never been so strong.
"So what should not wait is the capacity of Renault to turn what we do on the track into tangible marketing value for the group and for the brand.
"That is really important, as that is what will give us the stability so that we have the capacity - the financial capacity and also the time - to become one of the big boys."
One of F1's longest-serving manufacturers, Renault has been involved in F1 almost each year since 1977, both as a fully-fledged constructor and as an engine supplier. Though it has won two world titles as a constructor – in 2005 and 2006 with Fernando Alonso - , it is as an engine supplier that it has enjoyed most success having powered Benetton, Williams and Red Bull to a total of 10 championship wins.
However, after winning four consecutive world titles with Red Bull Racing between 2010 and 2013, Renault has struggled to get a grasp on the latest V6 Hybrid power unit in terms of power and reliability.
Prompting a breakdown in relations with Red Bull over the course of the 2015 season, with Renault in turn contesting that it did not get value for money or credit from the role it played in those four title wins, it has decided to go it alone for 2016.