Date: 3rd July 2017 at 6:33pm
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When Nico Hulkenberg quit Force India for Renault it raised a few eyebrows.

Then team-mate Sergio Perez had turned down Renault’s advances, but former Le Mans 24 Hours winner Hulkenberg wanted to move to the backing of a full manufacturer.

Without a move to either Ferrari or Mercedes, Renault is the only option.

The French car maker has a pedigree in Formula One, they have won the Formula One World Championship with Fernando Alonso and as an engine partner they powered the all dominating Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel.

They returned as a full manufacturer after buying-out Lotus, they’ve maintained that they will have a few seasons of transition, but 2018 appears to be the target for a major step forward.

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has previously announced that there will only be small upgrades for the remainder of 2017 with a new engine coming in 2018.

Renault are also already looking at the aerodynamic aspect with a new chassis, the focus appears set on next year, something which Nico Hulkenberg is delighted by.

‘The ’18 development and car has already been on the road for some time, So, it’s obviously quite advanced. There’s some good signs there. The gap to the front is big, so we need a lot of performance. Hulkenberg told Sky Sports.

‘It’s always relative, what you target, but we target that next year we obviously want to be well inside the top 10 all the time ? not even top 10, probably top eight, permanently. So we have to make a big step to fulfil the expectations.’

A move into the top eight would see Renault wanting to become the next best behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing.