Renault’s chequebook as big as Mercedes' - Bell

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Renault chief technical officer Bob Bell says the French manufacturer’s F1 budget can match Mercedes’ investments, but warns that it will need time to emulate the world champions’ on-track successes.

The Northern Irishman rejoins Renault after contributing towards Mercedes’ recent achievements. Bell, who had previously been responsible for the title-winning R25 and R26 cars, intends to draw inspiration from the current benchmark to help the French constructor recover to the front.

“Mercedes did several things that led to their current dominance and the seeming demise in Renault’s capability and that was starting the project earlier, bringing more resources to bear on the project earlier and I think they were better organised for dealing with that project,” said the 57-year-old, who also served as a technical consultant to Manor last year.

“So when you put all these things together, it doesn’t come as a big surprise that they caught Renault napping and did a much more credible job. It’s not because Renault aren’t as clever, there are just as many clever people in Renault as there are at Mercedes, and corporate Renault has as big a chequebook as Mercedes has, but what it’s lacking at the minute is just time to catch up. But catch up, they will.”

Renault Sport Racing (RSR) managing director Cyril Abiteboul said last December that Renault’s returning factory team would receive an investment boost to fight with the “big boys”.

RSR President Jérôme Stoll then slightly qualified this statement, explaining that extra monies would be secured thanks to commercial rights chief Bernie Ecclestone and F1 owners CVC Capital Partners granting Renault a ‘historical constructor’ status.

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