Bell: The foundations for the future have been laid

Renault chief technical officer Bob Bell says the 2016 Formula One season has successfully laid the groundwork for the team’s future, despite the French manufacturer enduring a tough campaign.

Renault’s late takeover of the Lotus F1 Team meant it knew the first year of its return as a works outfit would be challenging. And so it proved with only eight points and ninth place in the Constructors’ championship ahead of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

However, Bell, who returned to Renault following spells at Mercedes and Manor, insists there are positives to take from 2016.

“This year was not solely about sporting achievement, it’s been about building for the future so we can create a better car and build a better, stronger team,” he said.

“We’ve seen that Viry [Renault’s engine factory] have taken a huge step forward with the power unit, and Viry has also been adapting to its new status as being part of a works team rather than a stand-alone power unit supplier.

“Enstone [Renault’s chassis department], however, has seen the bulk of the changes and off-track growth has been the key message from this season. The foundations for the future have been laid.”

Talking about Renault’s post-season plans, Bell added: “We’re rather occupied with producing the R.S.17! We are also continuing unabated with recruitment and replenishing the infrastructure at Enstone.

“There’s lots of new equipment arriving almost on a daily basis and parking spaces are becoming a yet more scarce commodity!

“The challenge is not only developing and building next year’s car, but building and developing the organisation in unison with this.”

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