Enstone 'run down' when Renault took over - Bell

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Renault's chief technical officer Bob Bell says that the French outfit has made slow progress this season because the struggling Lotus team it took over at the end of last year was "run down".

The French manufacturer's return to the pinnacle of motor sport as a works effort has been a rather laborious affair marked by organizational difficulties and relatively weak performance.

The year  was always going to be a big challenge for Renault, according to Bell, but its task was made more difficult by the state of the foundation it acquired.

"I don’t think perhaps from the outside people realise how run down the Enstone squad had become in the last couple of years, so there’s a lot to do," Bell admitted.

"As well as the process of rebuilding the team of course we had to build a car for this year and start work on an even better one for next year, which wouldn’t be terribly hard.

"It’s been a challenge, it continues to be so, but there’s a very strong spirit in Enstone as anybody who knows the place will testify to and we’re certainly up to the challenge."

To date, Renault has scored points in only three races and currently is only ahead of manor and Sauber in the Constructors' standings, the latter team the only one which hasn't scored a single point in 2016.

"Of course corporately we’re not satisfied running around in tenth place and scoring single points. Actually that single point meant a lot to us.

"I’ve won a lot of points in F1 over the years and that point meant more to me than perhaps any other. It’s a great motivator and it really lifted team morale so actually it was quite an important achievement."

"Next year the obvious step forward for us is to move into the midfield and be competitive there, 2018 to be looking at podiums and so on

"And then out beyond that, four, five years hence, looking at a proper championship-winning campaign. No rocket science in that."

A distinguished member of Renault's championship winning team in 2005 and 2006, Bell is perfectly aware of what it takes to reach success.

"If you look at history, if you look at what it took when Red Bull bought Jaguar, when Renault previously bought Benetton or when Mercedes bought Brawn, it took five years in each instance for them to win a championship.

"That’s the sort of timescale, the sort of road map we’ve set ourselves. I think it’s realistic and it’s in line with corporate expectations."

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