Nico Hülkenberg feels it may be a couple of years more for the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team to bring success to Enstone, and says all teams need time to reach the top of the sport.
The German says the likes of Red Bull Racing and Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport both needed time to adapt to life in Formula 1 before reaching the top of the pack, and it will be just Renault’s third campaign since taking over from the Genii Capital-run Lotus F1 Team.
“It is a very time-consuming thing to get a team to the level that Red Bull and Mercedes are,” said Hülkenberg to Autosport. “The investment they make now in building and modernising the factory, the benefit we will get only in two/three years’ time – not until everything is up and running and we understand it.
“There is always such a long lead up time. They have all been through the same. Look at Mercedes, how many years they were OK but not where they are now. Red Bull, the same.
“It takes a couple of years to get on top of these things because this is such a complicated sport and then the rules keep changing so constantly the game is changing. You need to adapt all the time and you need new people with new ideas, and more people.”
Hülkenberg felt there were many missed opportunities of points during the 2017 season, with the team ultimately finishing sixth in the Constructors’ Championship, although it could have been better but for the mechanical issues, and the German the team will come back with all guns blazing in 2018.
“The Silverstone upgrade was the game changer during our season,” said Hülkenberg. “It really made us up from not really being points material, to being a regular points contender. We were top 10 material in the second half.
“But on the not so sunny side, there were a lot of missed opportunities due to many problems that we had and faced, but related back to where the team was coming from.
“We need to get on top of these things and come with a much more competitive overall better package for 2018 and the year beyond and smash it properly it then, than have these things in intervals.”