Renault expect to be beaten by customer team Red Bull in 2016 and according to technical director Nick Chester, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it will highlight just how much progress the Enstone team need to make.
Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn has already set out a timeframe of between two and three years before the team will start to challenge for wins and then championships, but in the short-term they fully expect Red Bull to be the lead Renault-powered outfit.
That might be a painful sight for Renault, but Chester welcomes the comparison as it gives his team knowledge of just how much it needs to improve its chassis, to get on a level with Red Bull, which is known for its superior chassis development.
“To be honest we don’t expect to be at their [Red Bull’s] level this year,” Chester told Motorsport.com. “It gives us a chassis benchmark and that might be quite painful, but it is sort of good knowledge.
“We know Red Bull make a very good chassis. We will know the lap time difference and it will be a target [for us to make up],” he added. “We need to start improving the team and building towards [closing] it.”