Renault happy to move on to 2017 after 'mentally tough' F1 campaign

Alan Permane says he is glad to see the back of Renault's 2016 Formula 1 car after a "mentally tough" season for the team

Renault happy to move on to 2017 after 'mentally tough' F1 campaign

The French manufacturer returned to works status in F1 this season, after buying Lotus, but delays in confirming the takeover left the 2016 car underdeveloped.

This year's campaign was challenging as a result, and while Renault pushed to get the best of the package, it also made an early decision to switch focus to 2017, when new regulations will be introduced.

Why Renault won't fight for podiums in 2017

Renault scored points just three times in 2016, reaching a lowly tally of eight and finishing ninth in the constructors' championship, ahead of only Sauber and Manor.

"I won't be sad to see the back of this car," trackside director of operations Permane told Autosport.

"It is mentally tough to go into each race weekend with higher expectations than you know you're going to achieve, and then battle every week to get out of Q1.

"2015 wasn't so bad, but 2014 and 2016 have been really tough on everyone at Renault, so we're looking forward to moving up the grid.

"I hope we move everything up a notch and we'll be battling to get into Q3 or even comfortably into Q3 [in 2017]."

Despite a tough season, Permane said morale among Renault's staff has been considerably better this term, courtesy of new stability and signs of progress at the factory.

"I'm proud of the guys and not just the race team but the whole factory, the whole of Enstone," Permane added.

"It's been easier - we don't have the mental worry of 'are we going to be paid this month?' and that sort of thing.

"Of course there is more pressure as we now need to deliver - we're being funded better and Enstone is changing considerably.

"There is building work going on in several areas, it's changing rapidly.

"Renault are delivering and are going to give us the tools so we can compete better, but it doesn't change overnight.

"That said, there is a plan in process, it looks sensible and all credit to Cyril [Abiteboul, Renault managing director] and all of those guys for making it happen."

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