Nico Hulkenberg says that it will be a matter of "years" before Renault grows enough to compete for titles in Formula 1. The Enstone squad currently heads the best of the rest in the championship table, but is a long way from battling with Ferrari and Mercedes at the front of the field.
The French manufacturer re-joined Formula 1 as a works team in 2016, and since then, it has improved substantially. However, it now faces the tall task of closing in on the top three teams, who are often over a second a lap faster.
This year, Renault's battle is with Haas. Renault currently leads Haas by eight points for fourth in the constructor's standings. Hulkenberg, who joined Renault in 2017 is enjoying the fight but says more time needs to pass before it can think about mounting a title challenge.
"The battle is tight in the middle of the grid," Hulkenberg told L'Equipe. "The other teams have worked a lot to make life difficult for us and we haven't looked very good. But we still have a good car and I think we can improve in the last four races and keep fourth place.
"Fourth is an improvement over last year. We are going in the right direction. I arrived last year and I've seen the team grow enormously with the investments made by Renault. The premises and equipment were improved and there were more people hired and more resources.
"Everything that can be expected from a manufacturer is there. Our ambition is always to be at the front, fighting for podiums and victories in a few years, but we are still in the development phase. I think we have put in place the structure we can build on in the next few years," Hulkenberg said.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing