Cyril Abiteboul has admitted that Renault might not be winning races by next year.
After buying the failing Lotus team, the French marque struggled in 2016 but have restored credibility this year.
"We wanted to establish ourselves in the midfield this year," team boss Abiteboul told Auto Motor und Sport. "We succeeded in that, even if we would like to climb a bit higher in the ranking."
However, the Frenchman said that it might take much longer before actual race wins start to come.
"Victories must be possible in 2019," said Abiteboul. "It sounds like a long time, but it is not. We know where the top teams are.
"Formula 1 is about people. If I sign someone today, I have to wait one to two years before I can use that talent, so it only has an impact on the 2020 car."
Renault have picked up 18 points so far in 2017.