Cyril Abiteboul says Renault aims to have the best overall Formula One power unit by 2018, with the French manufacturer buoyed by its strong 2016 recovery campaign.
After a dismal 2015 season where poor engine and reliability brought Renault and partners Red Bull to the very brink of separation, the Milton Keynes-based outfit harnessed its improved power unit to bounce back this year, securing one pole position, two wins and another 14 podiums.
More importantly, Renault showed perfect reliability when its engine rivals suffered a few hiccups, including Mercedes, whose power plant has been ruling the roost in the latest V6 1.6-litre turbocharged era.
“Our biggest achievement was our progress on the engine side,” Abiteboul said during the Renault Sport Series Awards Ceremony in Paris. “We have emerged from a situation where performance and reliability was poor to have the most reliable unit in the field.”
“We don’t have the most power yet but we have planned several significant steps to further improve our package and make it the best engine as early as 2018.”
Renault team principal Frédéric Vasseur said last month that the French constructor is working on a “100% new” power unit for next season, which has been made possible by the scrapping of the much-maligned engine development token system.