Tuesday 13 March at 07:35 :
Mar.13 (GMM) Alain Prost says Renault is not setting goals for 2018, but he will not rule out a podium for the French team.
After winter testing, the general consensus is that Renault and Haas will battle to lead the midfield behind top teams Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari.
But team advisor Prost says Renault's goal is only to improve.
"In 2018 we will progress and gradually become stronger," he told Nice Matin newspaper at a F1 demonstration in Nice.
"Theoretically, the top three teams retain a great advantage and it will be difficult to catch them.
"But by the middle of the season we will have new parts and you can never exclude the possibility of being on the podium," the quadruple world champion added.
However, Prost said targeting victories is not yet on Renault's agenda.
"I think it's pointless to name specific goals, because in motor racing it doesn't work like that," he said.
"The team is continuing to restructure, many new employees are appearing and the Enstone factory is improved. Soon the same will happen in Viry.
"When will our efforts be rewarded -- tomorrow or the day after? It's still too early to say. First, let's see what progress we make this year."
So when it comes to the likely winner of the 2018 world championship, Prost admits that his personal tally of four titles will probably be beaten by either Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel.
"Judging by the winter tests, Lewis has a slight advantage. Very small," he said.
"But it's a long season -- 21 races! Anything can happen and surprises are possible. In my opinion, Red Bull is very competitive as well."