Renault's new signing Nico Hulkenberg believes the 2017 Formula 1 season will be another "build-up" campaign for the French manufacturer, according to motosport.com.
Renault had a tough time with its works team's comeback year in F1 in 2016, the outfit not managing to regularly compete for points and finishing only ninth in the constructors' standings.
And Hulkenberg, who left fourth-placed Force India to join Renault on a multi-year deal, acknowledges his new team will need more time to establish itself in F1's pecking order.
"I think next year is still a build-up year. We have to be realistic," Hulkenberg said.
"This year they come from a pretty difficult year, and obviously when they bought the team last year they were in a very tricky situation, especially at the beginning of the season.
"They didn’t do much in terms of development of this car [RS16], so I hope next year is a little bit better already. But I don’t expect to be there in the top six straight away, even top 10 is going to be challenging.
"These things take long - to build an infrastructure back up and get good people back on board and develop the car."