Former Renault team boss Flavio Briatore has called on the French outfit to be ready to make an immediate impact on the “dying” sport when they return to Formula One in 2016.
Renault announced last week they had purchased the Lotus F1 Team in preparation for making their re-entry to Formula One in time for the 2016 world championship.
It is believed the French manufacturer hopes to be successful in the world drivers’ championship within three years.
But in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday, Briatore said that is too long in a sport that is currently “dying”.
After Sebastian Vettel’s four-year domination with Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have been a class apart the last two years.
“Three years is too long, Formula One is dying and Renault needs to be competitive before then,” said Briatore, who was forced to resign from the ING Renault F1 team in 2009 due to his involvement in race fixing at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
“In saying that, they need to rebuild everything: reinforce the team’s technical structure in Enstone, where there’s a lot of good people, as well as the engine department at Viry-Chatillon. It won’t be easy.”
Renault’s planned driver line-up for 2016 sees Briton Jolyon Palmer, son of former Formula One driver Jonathan Palmer, succeeding departing Frenchman Romain Grosjean alongside Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado.
Renault chairman Carlos Ghosn said last week: “Renault had two options: to come back at 100 percent or leave. After a detailed study, I have decided that Renault will be in Formula 1, starting 2016.”
Briatore gave the move his backing, adding: “If Ghosn has decided to take this step, it obviously means he will put adequate resources into the project.
“It’s certainly good news for Renault, and for all of Formula One.”
Associated with the sport since 1977, Renault has two drivers and constructors titles to its name when Fernando Alonso won back to back championships in 2005-06. – Agence France-Presse