Renault Sport F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul has issued a call for patience after repeating the French manufacturer’s aim of producing a future Formula 1 world champion from its academy.

Two years on from taking control of the Lotus F1 team, Renault is yet to promote a driver from its junior programme into an F1 race seat having opted to take Carlos Sainz Jr on loan from Red Bull for the 2018 season alongside Nico Hulkenberg who was signed from Force India last year.

Both Sergey Sirotkin and Robert Kubica were the part of the Renault fold in 2017, with the Russian acting as F1 development driver last year, but the pair have switched to Williams with Sirotkin set for his F1 debut and Kubica installed in a test and reserve role.

Abiteboul says he’s pleased by the progress Renault has made across all aspects to its F1 programme, including the rebranded Renault Sport Academy, and has called for more time before expecting a junior to be handed a chance in F1 by the French manufacturer.

“Frankly, it is easy to be a bit self-satisfied with what we’ve achieved but it is an area we are building as a team alongside many other things going on in parallel,” Abiteboul said. “I think we can be quite satisfied.

“It is going to take a bit of time, I know that we’re in a world where everyone is expecting results immediately, but when you work in a world where people are only 16 – the youngest one – it is normal that things take time.

“If you look at the level of people who’ve joined us I think there is no question mark. Almost every single one of them has been between one and two in their championship so I think the people that we have shown that the academy is a Renault programme where we are creditable.”

Abiteboul says the decision to promote a Renault junior into its F1 team will only be made when “the time is right” rather than rushing the process.

“One thing that we have to be careful with is that we need to be sure when the time comes and if we have the right person to be capable of doing what it takes to make it into Formula 1,” he said.

British driver Jack Aitken is seen as Renault’s ‘senior’ driver in its academy after being retained for a third consecutive year ahead of his graduation into the FIA Formula 2 championship with ART Grand Prix. Aitken tested a 2012-specificaiton Reanult F1 last September as reward for his progress and last year finished as GP3 Series runner-up to Mercedes-backed Geroge Russell.