A lot is being said about Renault. That they manage to win Grands Prix and championships with one of the lowest budgets amongst the teams. And Flavio Briatore himself doesn't miss a chance to pride his management style on that. It all looks awe-inspiring until the question "how much and for how long" are brought into the equation. Look at Ferrari. They are perceived to be one of the highest spenders in the sport and they've duly won, in the past decade, 13 world titles. Or put it this way. Since 2002 (the year in which Renault took over Benetton) Ferrari have won all the titles (both drivers' and constructors') except in the 2005 & 2006 seasons. Renault in contrast, in the same period, have only the four titles to their name. Immediately after they took the honours in the 2006 season, they struggled to a finish on the podium in the 2007 season. Ferrari? They took both the titles.
If you ask any Renault fan the reason for Renault's downfall, they'll say, fighting until up to the last race of the 2006 season was the reason why they couldn't produce a competitive car for the 2007 season. If you ask some of the F1 media, their answer would be, "Renault understood their Michelin tyres better than most. So, it's natural they got affected the most because of the switch to Bridgestone." None of these is the answer. None. (Why I say this? Coming in the next article)
The answer is, I believe, lack of resources. By resources I mean budget. Ferrari had the budget to simultaneously devote all the necessary efforts to their new car while at the same fighting hard for the championship with their old car. But, if what Flavio Briatore keeps priding himself on is true, Renault didn't have the capacity to develop two cars, simultaneously, at full swing. This is definitely not something to be proud about.
What all I'm saying is, Renault can consider priding themselves on low-budget-championships only after they've won another 10 world titles (drivers' + constructors'). Until then, Ferrari will be the benchmark. For consistency in winning. Simply because no other team have yet managed to match them let alone beat them for numbers.
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