Kevin Magnussen: Renault needs time to return to full strength

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Kevin Magnussen believes that it will take time for Renault to return to full strength in Formula 1 after taking over the financially-stricken Lotus operation over the winter.

Renault will return to F1 as a constructor in 2016 after six years away, having sold its team to Lotus ahead of the 2011 season.

Financial problems blighted Lotus towards the end of its life, with bailiffs appearing at a number of races in 2015 due to unpaid bills.

As a result, Lotus had to downsize its operation, leaving Renault with plenty of ground to make up after taking control at Enstone.

Former driver Romain Grosjean told MotorSportsTalk earlier this week that he expects the issues of 2015 to still be felt by Renault this year, and Magnussen echoed these thoughts.

“A lot of things have been shut down because they were struggling financially, but if you actually know the background and know how they’ve done it, they’ve done it in a really clever way,” Magnussen said.

“Because they had to survive. All these things are getting back again, and they are expanding in different areas. But it will take time to find the right people and for the people to start to learn to work together.”

Magnussen believes that the next opportunity for Renault to become truly competitive again may come with the next change in technical regulations, which is currently planned for 2017 but may be shelved until 2018.

“It will just take a lot of time,” Magnussen said. “I think it will be whether we have the rule changes in ’17 or ’18 will have a big – that is the real opportunity for us.

“And actually it would be better if it comes in ’18 I think.”