Renault chief technical officer Bob Bell has called on the team to invest in expanding its team of aerodynamicists this season.
Bell rejoins Renault following spells at Mercedes and Manor, and will oversee both the chassis side headed up by Nick Chester and the engine side led by Remi Taffin. With Renault taking over Lotus following a period of financial uncertainty which saw the team shrink in terms of personnel numbers, Bell wants the new constructor to focus on increasing the size of the team again.
"I suppose if I simplify it, it is still largely a numbers game," Bell said. "We have lost a lot of aerodynamicists, we’ve lost a lot of designers, we have lost a lot of operations people … it’s not magic, we just need to put those numbers back in place again. It doesn’t matter how clever you are, it’s a matter of being clever and having resources. You need both.
"It’s pretty obvious where we need to make the investment, in people, equipment and facilities. It’s not particularly revolutionary and it’s clear to us what we need to do. We just need to be patient and realise that that is not something you can just do overnight.
"You need to build those resources up, find the right people and we have taken the correct approach that we are building for the future, looking to the long term and Renault are in Formula One for the long haul and we are not going to shortchange ourselves by making a dash to build up quickly with less than best resources. We’ll take our time, find the best people and find the best resources. We’ll take that approach."
And Bell highlights the aerodynamics department as one of the areas needing attention first.
"I think if you looked at it purely from a technical and performance point of view, the obvious side that needs to be built back up again is the aerodynamics side. We need more aerodynamicists, CFD specialists, track aerodynamics guys, model designers, model makers – that side of it is where the chassis side finds performance.
"Although it has swung much more to being a power unit dominated formula, aerodynamics is still critical and hasn’t gone away. On the chassis side we still need to build that up and become a very, very credible player in that area of design and development."