Kevin Magnussen feels Renault should switch the bulk of its development efforts towards its 2017 car and is relaxed about his contract situation with a certainty he will remain with the team for next season.
The Danish driver was a late switch in Renault's driver line-up for 2016 after ousting Pastor Maldonado and despite taking just a single points finish this year (7th place in Russia) he has narrowly outperformed F1 rookie team-mate Jolyon Palmer.
Looking to become the driving force in Renault's resurgence in F1, Magnussen believes the Enstone-based squad should turn its attention to making early progress on its 2017 challenger ahead of the regulations revamp, but understands it isn't a straightforward decision with still over half of the current campaign remaining.
“It is a tough decision and one I am glad I don't have to make,” Magnussen said. “It is a big decision whether you go for more points and positions in the championship this year or stop this year and go for next year.
“I want to win as soon as possible so it seems more logical to go for 2017 as there is a big rule change but then if you lose out on positions and prize money this year how will the sponsors look at that. So there are many things you have to look for.
“Not much we do this year can translate into next year. It is more for the team to understand what a driver needs to then design a car which is driveable with loads of downforce and power. It is back to basics next year.”
Magnussen also says talks on a 2017 deal to stay with Renault have not started but is keen to avoid a repeat of his last full campaign in F1 with McLaren when he was taken out of a race seat to make room for Fernando Alonso and eventually kicked out of the Woking-based team.
“There will be talks at some point and I am not going to let it be as late as last year in 2014,” he said. “I'm not seeing myself without a drive next year. I'm not too worried and it will be fine. They seem happy and I'm happy so I wouldn't be surprised if there are talks soon but it is not really my worry.”