Nico Hulkenberg says Renault are 'on target'
German hopes team will be winning "in two or three years' time"
Last Updated: 04/07/17 2:47pm
Nico Hulkenberg says Renault are on the right path as the team start out on their quest to return to the front of F1.
Eighteen months after Renault bought out the faltering Lotus team to become a fully-fledged works outfit again, they find themselves deeply entrenched in the midfield alongside Haas,Toro Rosso and Williams.
Hulkenberg, who has scored all of Renault's points this year, was persuaded to join the team for 2017 on account of their 'works' status and title-winning pedigree - the French team won back-to-back championships as recently as 2005 and 2006.
But despite their modest start to the season, Hulkenberg hasn't been disappointed or surprised by Renault's level of competitiveness so far as the team take small but steady steps back towards the front.
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"The team is moving in the right direction," Hulkenberg said in Baku. "There is a lot of good stuff coming and in the pipeline for a later point in the season. All the signs are good and encouraging.
"We are on target and we are where l expected us to be."
Speaking to Sky F1, Hulkenberg confirmed: "The target is that in two or three years' time we will be winning races."
Team boss Cyril Abiteboul added: "Our dream is to reach the top team again and our target is to fight for the championship by 2020."
Albeit inadvertently, that long-term time frame echoes the warning of Alain Prost, the team's advisor, when he stressed that Renault couldn't expect to be winners in 2018 - a prediction which went a long way to ruling out Fernando Alonso returning to Enstone in the immediate future.
Hulkenberg's outlook is similarly cautious.
"The gap to the front is big," the German acknowledged. "We need a lot of performance. Next year, we want to be well into the top 10 all the time, so we have to make a big step to fulfil those expectations."
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