Idea of Renault beating F1's top three teams in 2019 is 'ludicrous'

Renault technical chief Marcin Budkowski thinks it would be "ludicrous" for his team to think it can beat Formula 1's top three outfits in the short term

Idea of Renault beating F1's top three teams in 2019 is 'ludicrous'

Although Renault has progressed this year and is in a battle to finish fourth in the constructors' standings behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, Budkowski is sceptical about his team taking the next step in 2019.

Budkowski reckons Renault will have to wait until the major rules reset slated for 2021 before it can fight for genuine wins against F1's leading teams.

"Obviously I hope it will be different, but we have to take things step by step," said Budkowski, who started work at the team earlier this year.

"We are 1.5 seconds off the top guys, and if I was sat here thinking we are going to recover that against people like Mercedes and Ferrari, these massive organisations, with super competent people, [I would be wrong].

"We have grown over the last two years, but they have had structures with 900 people for many years.

"Stability has been a benefit to them, so it would be ludicrous for me to say we are going to beat them next year.

"Our objective is to continue progressing strongly, and to be honest, reducing that gap is a real achievement.

"I certainly hope we can fight much closer to them in 2020. But I am not going to make any predictions because it would be unreasonable. 2021 is a potential change of regulations, if that is confirmed, and we have to see that as an opportunity.

"Every potential change is an opportunity and a risk, from our point of view and it is proper reset of the regulations it is favourable to us if it is a fresh start."

Budkowski says Renault's next target is to pull clear of F1's midfield teams.

"We really need to establish ourselves, get out of the midfield, and be a team that is starting to get closer to the top guys," he said.

"It is difficult to give relative targets because it depends on everyone else's progression. I think we need to show that we are emerging from the midfield."

Asked if Renault needed to make more progress on its chassis or engine, Budkowski said: "I think both.

"On the engine and chassis side, on the way we operate the car, everywhere the gap is significant and we need to make a step on both sides."

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