• Renault news

Boullier targets title tilt in three years

ESPNF1 Staff
December 12, 2011 « Richelmi secures Trident drive | Bahar defends Renault approach »
Renault is aiming for fourth in the constructors' next year © Sutton Images
Related Links

Renault team principal Eric Boullier is targeting race victories and a shot at the title in the next three years and fourth place in the championship next season.

Renault (to be renamed Lotus next season) has title winning heritage but has undergone major changes, both in ownership and image, in the past few years. The team was given a new lease of life and took fifth in the constructors' championship when it was sold to Genii Capital in 2010, but failed to improve on that in 2011 after a tumultuous season in which it lost No.1 driver Robert Kubica to injury before the first race.

Boullier has signed an all-new driver line-up for 2012 in Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean and says the team's target is "pretty clear".

"We're determined to win back that fourth place we promised ourselves," he said. "Over three years our aim is to be considered as one of the top teams, which means to start winning on a regular basis and be in a position to fight for the title."

Grosjean drove for the team in 2009 after Nelson Piquet Jr was sacked by Boullier's predecessor Flavio Briatore. He partnered Fernando Alonso at the final seven races of the season but struggled to get close to his more experienced team-mate and failed to score a point. However, Boullier is confident the Frenchman, who dominated GP2 this year, is now ready for F1.

"It's a challenging mission," he said. "Romain has been with us for quite a few months now and he has had several aims to achieve from the personal, professional and sporting points of view. He had to find his footing again in a team which he left in what were certainly not the most reassuring circumstances.

"He achieved all these aims one by one until we decided to give him the opportunity to drive for us in free practice in the last two races of the season. He proved to the team that he had enough talent, speed and maturity to become one of the works drivers for next year."

Asked if Grosjean's nationality played a factor in his appointment, Boullier said: "Absolutely not! It was just another point in his favour. For our French partners like Total it's a godsend to be able to take advantage of his presence as one of our drivers."