Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn believes it will take three years for the French manufacturer to be competitive in Formula 1 once again after confirming its works return to the series on Thursday.
Renault will take over Lotus F1 Team for the 2016 season, reviving its operation at Enstone that last raced as Renault F1 Team back in 2010.
However, Ghosn is not expecting immediate success upon Renault’s full return to F1 in 2016, believing that it may take as many as three years for the team to be competitive once again.
“Given how keen our staff is, I think it will take three years to be competitive,” Ghosn told Le Figaro.
“We’ll also carry on developing our activity as an engine supplier, but only in accordance with the interests of our works team.”
Renault will continue to supply Red Bull with a power unit in 2016 despite seeing its relationship with the team sour over the past year due to the quality of its model. However, the power unit will be known as a ‘TAG Heuer’ following a deal announced earlier this week by Red Bull.
In a wide-ranging interview with Le Figaro, Ghosn appeared to hint at a possible change in the existing driver line-up at Lotus, currently set to comprise of Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer in 2016.
“[Buying Lotus] required several months of reflection, discussion and negotiation with partners and stakeholders of F1,” Ghosn said.
“Now we will wait a few weeks. I refer to a meeting in January 2016, when we will explain the organization, goals, strategy and we will also talk about drivers and partners.”