Hulkenberg: Renault three years behind

20 February 2018 06:11:46 EST

Nico Hulkenberg claims Renault are up to three years away from being in a position to challenge the likes of Mercedes for the Formula 1 titles.

The 30-year-old moved to the French constructor for the 2017 campaign having ended a three-year second spell with Force India at the end of the previous season.

Renault only returned to F1 in 2016 when they purchased the Lotus team and have been trying to work their way back up the standings in the last two years.

It takes a couple of years to get on top of these things because this is such a complicated sport and then the rules keep changing so constantly the game is changing.

Nico Hulkenberg

They finished sixth in the constructors championship in 2017, while Hulkenberg finished one place behind his team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr in 10th position in the drivers' standings.

Team principal Cyril Abiteboul has previously suggested that they will hope to be in a position to challenge by next year.

And, ahead of the unveiling of their RS18 for this coming season, Hulkenberg has claimed it could take a little longer.

The German told Motorsport.com: "It is a very time-consuming thing to get a team to the level that Red Bull and Mercedes are.

"The investment they make now in building and modernising the factory, the benefit we will get only in two-three years' time – not until everything is up and running and we understand it.

"There is always such a long lead-up time. They have all been through the same.

"Look at Mercedes, how many years they were OK but not where they are now. Red Bull, the same.

"It takes a couple of years to get on top of these things because this is such a complicated sport and then the rules keep changing so constantly the game is changing."

Meanwhile, reigning drivers' champion Lewis Hamilton is 1/6 to win his fifth title in 2018, while his team Mercedes are 1/4 to claim a fifth successive constructors championship.

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