Renault targets victories in 2011
|By Jonathan Noble||Thursday, January 13th 2011, 16:31 GMT|
Renault boss Eric Boullier says his team's sights are set on winning races again this year, as he unveiled its new black-and-gold colour scheme at the AUTOSPORT International Show on Thursday.
On the back of a tie-up with Group Lotus, Boullier believes that his Enstone-based outfit now has the resources, motivation and ability to lift itself into contention for victories in 2011.
"We want to win with this car," Boullier told AUTOSPORT in Birmingham. "To win you need to be a regular podium finisher - and then you will win – and that is our target.
"My ambition has always been to establish this team as a top team. I want us to be recognised as a top team like Ferrari or McLaren."
As well as the increase in resources that the team has available to it on the back of its sponsorship link with Group Lotus, Boullier thinks that the extra experience that he carries – plus the return of a belief inside the team – will pay dividends in 2011.
"I look much less stressed now," he said when asked about the differences that he feels 12 months into his job. "Let's say now, I have the impression that I fit in, and for me it is much easier to fit in. I can do many more things.
"At the team now there is a very, very good ambiance at the team, a very good spirit, and it is clearly a reward for them because of the hard work last year.
"We had some good success, in terms of the development rate and development targets, and to have a commitment for so many years from a title sponsor, and a complete rebranding, is just a reward.
"I am very happy to be a part of this - and they [the team] must be very proud of what they have achieved at Enstone.
"The team itself is really committed. The team is smiling again and very happy to be back at work. When you have the means to achieve your ambitions, and the resources to get there, that definitely changes your life.
"And we definitely will be much stronger, and the results will bring much more hope and expectation.
Boullier also said that all thoughts on the naming row that has overshadowed Group Lotus' entry into F1 with Renault have been put to the back of his mind – as he is simply overjoyed with the support his team is getting.
"I am pretty happy to be here," he said on the Group Lotus stage. "I have to say, to have Clive Chapman here is a good sign, I must say. Definitely we are representing Lotus Cars – and we don't claim any heritage or anything. We are the F1 vision of Lotus. It is good to have a Chapman family member here.
"The strategy of Group Lotus was to licence the F1 entry. For reasons that they decided on their own, they decided to change their strategy and to stick with us. That is it. There is only one Lotus manufacturer in the world and they have asked us to represent them in F1. That is the end of the story."