Ahead of the launch of their 2018 F1 Challenger, Nico Hulkenberg says that the Renault F1 team is still two or three years away from being title contenders. With Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault has arguably the greatest driver combination outside the top three teams. Renault is aspiring to be a contender for regular podium finishes. Hulkenberg, however, insists that success on that scale will still be some years from now. He said that it takes time to put a team on the level of Mercedes and Red Bull and that the investment they are making now in developing and modernizing the factory is expected to bear fruit in two to three years’ time.
Hulkenberg said that it takes time to get on top of the sport since it is a complex sport where rules are always evolving. Citing the Mercedes and Red Bull journey, he intimated that it is crucial to have new and more people and be adaptive enough to stay on course. He said that everything needs time to be up and running and people must understand that. Renault did not have an exciting start to 2017, but a significant upgrade at the British Grand Prix changed their fortunes and saw them begin to finish inside the top 10 regularly leading them to sixth in the constructors’ standings.
Hulkenberg said that the Silverstone upgrade played a critical role during their season and raised them up to be regular point’s contenders. They were in the top-10 material in the second half. On the flipside, they had a lot of blown up opportunities due to numerous problems they faced which were related to where the team had come. Hulkenberg insisted that they need to get on top of things by coming up with a competitive, better package for 2018 and beyond.