After much speculation, Renault has confirmed to put together the budget necessary to run as a full time constructor. Renault acquired the Lotus team and announced their return to the F1 as a constructor subject to availability of funds. And now, with the budget in place, Renault is all set to take on Mercedes and Ferrari for the battle of glory.
The Managing Director of Renault, Cyril Abiteboul, for the very first time talked about the acquisition of Lotus. He said that the board is aware of costs involved in taking on F1's current top teams, and they are ready to do invest whatever it would take to succeed. "I think we have enjoyed a lot of advisers on that aspect, so they know what they are exposed to." said Abiteboul. "I think that there is a very good business plan, a very robust business plan, at least for the initial term, in order to do the job that we need to do."
Carlos Ghosn, the star honcho of Renault shows his inhibitions that the new team will show at the front of the grid before three years. Abiteboul concurs with the Ghosn statement, "We have given a time frame [of three years] in the statement that was communicated by Carlos Ghosn, and we need to be pragmatic."
He further adds, "We know it is going to take time." Though he wasn't able to reveal any detailed specifics about the ambitions prior to a press conference in February, he confirms, "But what matters is that the marketing story doesn't wait. I think we have been very successful in F1 with Red Bull." The statement also gives us insight on how Renault is not worried about marketing anymore.
"We have been successful as a competitive team before, and from a marketing stand point and connection between F1 and the rest of the business, we have never been so strong," says Abiteboul. "So what should not wait is the capacity of Renault to turn what we do on the track into tangible marketing value for the group and for the brand. That is really important, as that is what will give us the stability so that we have the capacity – the financial capacity and also the time – to become one of the big boys."
Abiteboul says that points is least of their concern in 2016, "The target for next year, it is not just about scoring points in the championship. We need to be humble in our expectations for next year." He added: "In my opinion, next year will not only be successful if we are doing well on track. There are many things that we want to do well next year, starting with the structure."
Renault has been a successful and championship winning engine supplier for many years and they will be hoping a lot from the engine. "We want an engine that is completely reliable at the start of the season, and at the first test. We want to make substantial steps," said Abiteboul.