TURIN, Italy – Four-time Formula 1 world champion Alain Prost believes there is no quick fix to Renault’s struggles since returning to the sport as a constructor in 2016.
Renault took over the ailing Lotus operation at the end of last year, marking its return to F1 with a works team after a five-year absence.
Despite saying 2016 would be a year of rebuilding the team after the financial problems Lotus faced, Renault has endured a disappointing start to the season.
Renault currently sits ninth in the constructors’ championship on six points, all of which came courtesy of Kevin Magnussen’s seventh-place finish in Russia – the team’s only top-10 of the season.
Prost had been expected to take up a role with Renault similar to that of Niki Lauda at Mercedes, but instead opted to focus on his commitments with the Renault e.dams Formula E team.
When asked about Renault’s struggles, Prost conceded that his lack of involvement made it difficult for him to give a firm answer.
“You ask a question that is difficult for me to answer. I am more positioned a little bit outside and not so much inside Renault because I don’t want to comment too much as you understand,” Prost said, before going on to discuss the issues it faces.
“It is difficult and maybe more difficult because of the late decision [to buy Lotus]. I was expecting also maybe a little bit more performance, but not much more.
“I think the problem is not what you can see today. I think the problem is more how you try to understand why it’s not working so well today until the end of the year and manage to get the people happy and motivated until the end of the year, and manage to get the best car possible for 2017.
“I think the problem honestly is if they were three or four tenths quicker than what they are today, it doesn’t make a huge difference.
“It’s not very nice, but you have to accept that if it is a long-term programme, you have to accept that.”