Renault aims to be back fighting for championship titles again by 2011 according to the team's acting principal Bob Bell.
The future of Renault's Formula 1 team was secured in mid-December when a deal to sell a large stake in the team to businessman Gerard Lopez's Genii Capital was agreed, ending weeks of uncertainty over the French manufacturer's continuation in the sport. Now, after a turbulent 12 months for the outfit – which included an uncompetitive and winless 2009 season and the race-fixing scandal that forced team principal Flavio Briatore and technical chief Pat Symonds to resign – Bell says Renault can now focus on building a multi-year strategy to return it to the front of the grid.
"The real target for us is to build for 2011 and a championship campaign," Bell said. "But we have realistic expectations for 2010. We are not going to produce a car that catapults us to the front, because F1 is very competitive. But our 2010 expectations are to run toward the front and challenge for the top three."
Bell revealed that work on Renault's 2010 contender never halted while the team's future hung in the balance, but added that the security that the Genii deal brings to the project has boosted the staff working in the factory.
"This is nothing but positive for the team," he said. "It has ended all of the concerns that the staff had and gives a secure base for the future. There is a multi-year commitment and a very sensible strategy. It's a win-win situation for both Renault and its partners, and is a big step forward."