Bell: Renault rebuilding task underestimated
13 October 2016 – Renault Chief Technical Officer Bob Bell reckons the scale of the project facing the manufacturer is underestimated by outsiders, following the team's full-scale return to Formula 1.
Renault returned to Formula 1 as a works team last December after acquiring the Lotus outfit, which had been plagued by financial difficulties and starved of resources.
Renault has finished in the top 10 only three times this season to sit ninth in the Constructors' championship with eight points, ahead of only Sauber and Manor.
"I don't think perhaps from the outside people realise how run down the Enstone squad had become in the last couple of years, so there's a lot to do," said Bell.
"As well as the process of rebuilding the team of course we had to build a car for this year and start work on an even better one for next year, which wouldn't be terribly hard.
"It's been a challenge, it continues to be so, but there's a very strong spirit in Enstone.
"Anybody who knows the place will testify to and we're certainly up to the challenge."
Bell insists that Renault can take heart from the manner in which rivals went on to become successful in Formula 1, despite starting from lower down the pecking order.
"Next year the obvious step forward for us is to move into the midfield and be competitive there," he said.
"Then for 2018 to be looking at podiums and so on, and then out beyond that, four, five years hence, looking at a proper championship-winning campaign. There's no rocket science in that.
"If you look at history, if you look at what it took when Red Bull bought Jaguar, when Renault previously bought Benetton or when Mercedes bought Brawn it took five years in each instance for them to win a championship.
"That's the sort of timescale, the sort of road map we've set ourselves. I think it's realistic and it's in line with corporate expectation."