Cyril Abiteboul says Renault Sport F1 has all the 'right ingredients' in place to get back to winning ways in Formula 1, but concedes the sheer quality of its rivals will make the process a potentially long one.
Having focused on its role as an engine supplier since 2010, the French firm made its full factory return at the Australian Grand Prix, where it declared its performance a success despite finishing outside the points with drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer.
Indeed, Renault has maintained modest expectations for its comeback, but while managing director Abiteboul says he doesn't expect to see the team on the podium until 2018, he says it will be the first success in a process that he believes will see the manufacturer back on top for the first time since its back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006.
“The goal is to get gold is 2018. We know it is a two or three year job to get to the podium. We know the podium is not all golden but it is a good start. That is the timing we have given ourselves which is already long but we are committed to the sport and we have a lot of knowledge on what it takes.
Abiteboul says the humble approach is not dictated by Renault's investment in the team but more by the high standard of the teams around it.
“We are very impressed by the level the bar has been raised in F1. We are aware of the level needed with the different engines but also on the chassis side we were amazed by the progress made by everyone since we were last an F1 team. People don't give enough credit to Formula 1 in general about the job they are doing.
“That is why we are humble and are playing down our expectations because we are impressed by the sport and happy with the level of competition right now. We have all the right ingredients for the future.”
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