Renault capable of Ferrari-like step with F1 engine - Toro Rosso

Renault can make similar gains to those found by Ferrari with its Formula 1 engine, according to Toro Rosso technical director James Key

Renault capable of Ferrari-like step with F1 engine - Toro Rosso

The French manufacturer has taken a verbal pounding from Red Bull this year, and its team principal Christian Horner in particular, due to the performance and reliability of its engines.

With Renault currently weighing up its options as to its future beyond 2017 - and a takeover of Lotus a strong possibility - Key believes it is "in their blood" to be able to turn things around.

"They're very honest people to work with, they'll acknowledge the fact there is a bit of work to do, but they're working very hard to try and solve it, and I think they can," Key told AUTOSPORT.

"There's a bit to do, a bit of a gap, but Ferrari has made a massive step, and I'm sure Renault are capable of that too.

"We shouldn't forget they've been around and had enormous success, both as a company and as an engine supplier in F1, and it's in their blood to turn this thing around.

"With the progress they're looking at for next year there is a much more confident atmosphere than there was this time last year.

"Last season there was still shock at how everything had unfolded, and it was a case of 'Woah! OK, there's some work to do here'.

"And the beginning of this season they've had some reliability issues that have also caught them out.

"But going into next year there has been a perfect step back by a lot of the guys there, a few new faces and a feeling of 'we've got to nail it this time, so let's not get too distracted and move along'."

Key said he can appreciate the dissatisfaction felt by Red Bull over the past 18 months coming on the back of the team's four-year title-winning run from 2010-13.

"I don't blame Red Bull for getting frustrated with the situation because these guys are used to winning championships, and they're kitted up and funded to do so," he added.

"There are two teams that make their own engine [Mercedes and Ferrari] and they are positioned first and second in the championship.

"I can understand the frustration, but both sides have been working very closely together to sort it out."

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