Consistent Renault challenge could take three years - Carlos Ghosn

Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn concedes it will take the French manufacturer's works outfit two to three years to regularly challenge for a Formula 1 podium

Consistent Renault challenge could take three years - Carlos Ghosn

After months of protracted negotiations, Renault finally completed its takeover of Lotus in December, making a return as a fully fledged manufacturer for the first time since 2011.

On Wednesday, the team to be known as Renault Sport F1 became the first to launch its 2016 challenger in a black and yellow livery - which is expected to become significantly more yellow for Melbourne - at an unveil in Paris.

As Lotus, the team scored one shock podium in Belgium last term on its way to sixth in the constructors' championship but Renault's power unit, supplied to Red Bull and Toro Rosso, was woefully off the pace.

"We know it's going to be tough," said Ghosn. "We're competing against some top teams.

"It's going to take two or three years to be back in solid way for the podium.

"We are working a lot on the engine and we recognise we are starting with a handicap, compared particularly to the winner.

"But we think we have talent, willingness and experience in order to close the gap.

"We are not here to participate, we are here to compete at the highest level and eventually win.

"We want to get to the point where every time a race starts, Renault is a contender - that is our objective.

"It won't happen in 2016, that would be a miracle, but I'm counting on the team to make improvements to the engine, car, technology to come forward with a competitive car as soon as possible."

Explaining Renault's decision to return as a full works team, Ghosn said it came down to how Renault wanted to be viewed as a brand.

"We know very well, when a team wins it is the car and when loses it's engine - it is a well known thing," he said.

"It doesn't mean we have been perfect. It is one reason why we say, in order to get the best out of f1, we have to be a full works team."

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Renault launches its 2016 Formula 1 project

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