Renault team co-owner Gerard Lopez believes the squad has rediscovered its "winning mentality" after recent tough seasons. He says the rebuilding process required after its turbulent winter has been completed and it is now ready to fight at the top again.
After its 2005 and 2006 title successes, Renault endured several lean years, with its brief late-2008 flurry soured by the subsequent revelation that its Singapore win was the product of the infamous "race-fixing" scandal. But the team has made encouraging progress this season, and though it has yet to win again, Lopez said Renault's self-belief had returned and it was now finding results like Monza – where it only scored three points for Robert Kubica's eighth place – painful rather than adequate.
"There is a winning mentality back in the team," Lopez told Reuters. "For sure we would like to fight for the championship next year and it takes more than just words to do that. It takes a culture and so on, and I think we are back into that culture where a weekend like this is really disappointing, not just for me but disappointing for the whole team."
Lopez said the majority of changes he had wanted to make at Renault were now complete.
"Just by changing some key management positions, I think we've kind of reignited the will to win and essentially shown the team and the people who were there that they can do it, just like they did it a couple of years ago," he said. "I think the foundations are rock solid. We are pretty much done with our program in terms of putting in some key management people, here and at the factory.
"As far as we are concerned, for the first time now we can actually focus on delivering results rather than just rebuilding stuff. So I think it's as solid as it has probably ever been."
He also dismissed suggestions that his Genii Capital firm could be looking for a way out of its Renault investment, or that the car manufacturer itself was angling to reclaim a greater share in the team.
"As far as we are concerned, I don't know why we would sell," Lopez said. "Financially we are very solid. It might have pleased other people if we weren't, but tough luck for them."