Date: 29th December 2016 at 8:12am
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As expected, 2016 proved to be a season of transition for Renault.

The French car firm returned to Formula One as a fully fledged manufacturer following the takeover of the former Lotus team.

The takeover however dragged on throughout the 2015 Formula One World Championship season and by the time the French manufacturer had completed their takeover and return to the sport, there was limited time remaining to develop the car for 2016.

Apart from whipping out the Mercedes power-unit in favour of a Renault one, there was little or no development done.

Renault scored points just three times in 2016, twice via Kevin Magnussen and once from Jolyon Palmer.

The latter remains at the team, however Magnussen has departed to join Haas F1.

Following months of speculation that Sergio Perez would leave Force India for Renault, it actually proved to be his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg who would swap seats.

The 2015 Le Mans winner, has seen the long-term potential at Renault, just like Mercedes or Ferrari a true championship winning chance is best likely at a manufacturer.

But not in 2017.

‘I think next year is still a build-up year. We have to be realistic, This year they come from a pretty difficult year, and obviously when they bought the team last year they were in a very tricky situation, especially at the beginning of the season.

‘They didn?t do much in terms of development of this car [RS16], so I hope next year is a little bit better already. But I don?t expect to be there in the top six straight away, even top 10 is going to be challenging.
he told motorsport.com.

Renault are investing heavily in their infrastructure. At the factory, personnel is increasing by 20%, Rob White has moved from Viry-Ch√Ętillon to the UK as operations director and Ciaron Pilbeam returning to Enstone as chief race engineer.

‘These things take long – to build an infrastructure back up and get good people back on board and develop the car.’