Renault's 2017 Formula 1 challenger will be based on last year's model, as opposed to its current RS16 chassis, Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur has outlined.
Renault returned to F1 as a works team for 2016 after a protracted takeover of Lotus, powered by Mercedes in 2015, which has compromised its car and engine package.
As a result, Renault switched focus to 2017 – and the regulation overhaul – early in the season, and Vasseur has revealed that the outfit is using the 2015 design as a base.
"Yes, we do consider 2017 a good opportunity for us," Vasseur told the official Formula 1 website, when asked about abandoning 2016 development earlier than its rivals.
"Right now we are using a 2015-designed car that was built around a Mercedes engine, so when switching to a Renault engine [for 2016] we suffered from the very beginning.
"We are not building the 2017 car based on the 2016 one, but on the 2015 car – that is a lot of catching-up!
"But as I just said, 2017 holds a good opportunity for us. Yes, right now it is a bit stressful to manage such a huge gap based on the structure that we have - but we are working hard on it."
Renault currently holds ninth in the standings on six points, 22 adrift of Haas and five clear of Manor, and Vasseur admits the team is unlikely to gain any positions in 2016.
"Well, the pecking order seems quite clear," he went on to comment.
"It will be difficult to change it, as we are not working on the car [for the rest of the season], so unless a gift comes from God, I don't know how we should jump ahead."
Source : http://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-news/3433 ... 15-design/