'Substantial investment' will help Renault bid for stronger 2017

F1i 16:05 26/10/2016
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Renault is building for a stronger 2017 season by committing to “substantial investment” at its base in Enstone, according to Cyril Abiteboul.

Having completed its takeover of Lotus late in 2015, Renault has struggled this season and has scored just eight points so far with three races remaining. While Abiteboul calls for patience as Renault rebuilds the team, he says there is clear progress being made in a number of areas which should be seen next season.

“Well, we always said that it would be a long-term plan but obviously there has to be some steps and some visible steps,” Abiteboul said. “That is the first step of the plan.

“There will be more development; there will be more announcements, more decisions. We have a substantial investment plan in Enstone. There are also good upgrades coming up on the engine side. So it’s all coming together. The structure is coming together. So, fairly satisfied with the way things are progressing.”

And Abiteboul says the example of Haas – with the American team deferring its entry to 2016 and duly scoring 18 of its 29 points in the first two races – shows the importance of a settled and organised team.

“I think they’ve done a great job and in particular because they are ahead of us so they are some form of nightmare to us, to the championship. Mostly I think it is interesting because they are showing that, as always, the points you are taking at the start of the season are very important. They almost count twice or three times more.

“Also, that in Formula One it’s important to have planning and preparation time. So it’s quite different and in contrast to our situation at Renault, where we sort of arrive in Melbourne in a bit of a panic mode. Unprepared. With more resources.

“So it’s all to the credit of Gene and his team, but I think they are compensating, through planning and a clever business model and the relationship with Ferrari, the lack of resources that they have in comparison to other teams. The challenge obviously is to make that sustainable on the long run. That’s obviously what I wish to the team.”

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