Although Renault believe they’ll make strong progress next season, technical chief Marcin Budkowski feels it is “ludicrous” to say they’ll beat Ferrari and Mercedes to the title.
After two years of rebuilding following their purchase of the Lotus team, Renault are chasing ‘best of the rest’ this season.
Next season the German will partner Daniel Ricciardo, whose arrival is seen as a sign that Renault are determined to fight for World titles.
That, however, won’t be next season.
“Obviously I hope it will be different, but we have to take things step by step,” Budkowski explained to Motorsport.com.
“We are 1.5 seconds off the top guys, and if I was sat here thinking we are going to recover that against people like Mercedes and Ferrari, these massive organisations, with super competent people, [I would be wrong].
“We have grown over the last two years, but they have had structures with 900 people for many years. Stability has been a benefit to them, so it would be ludicrous for me to say we are going to beat them next year.
“Our objective is to continue progressing strongly, and to be honest, reducing that gap is a real achievement. I certainly hope we can fight much closer to them in 2020. But I am not going to make any predictions because it would be unreasonable.
“2021 is a potential change of regulations, if that is confirmed, and we have to see that as an opportunity. Every potential change is an opportunity and a risk, from our point of view and it is proper reset of the regulations it is favourable to us if it is a fresh start.”
So far this season Renault’s best results have been two P5s, Azerbaijan and Germany.
With 91 points in hand they are 15 ahead of fifth placed Haas.
“We really need to establish ourselves, get out of the midfield, and be a team that is starting to get closer to the top guys,” Budkowski added.
“It is difficult to give relative targets because it depends on everyone else’s progression. I think we need to show that we are emerging from the midfield.”