After a rollercoaster 2009, which saw the Renault F1 Team struggle with an uncompetitive car and the Crashgate scandal which saw team principal Flavio Briatore and technical chief Pat Symonds leave, paddock and fans were relieved to see Renault remain in the sport after selling a big stake in the team to Genii Capital.

With all that behind the back, Renault aims to be back fighting for the championship by 2011, the team’s acting principal Bob Bell told Autosport. “The real target for us is to build for 2011 and a championship campaign. But we have realistic expectations for 2010. We are not going to produce a car that catapults us to the front because F1 is very competitive. But our 2010 expectations are to run towards the front and challenge for the top three.”

Bell said that work on Renault’s 2010 car never stalled amidst the uncertainty, but added that the Genii deal has boosted staff morale. “This is nothing but positive for the team,” he said. “It has ended all of the concerns that the staff had and gives a secure base for the future. There is a multi-year commitment and a very sensible strategy. It’s a win-win situation for both Renault and its partners, and is a big step forward.”