Renault should focus its efforts on helping Red Bull rather than its own works teams in 2016, claims Helmut Marko.
With Renault set to announce full details of its own new team plan next week, following the winter takeover of Lotus, the French car company is already ramping up efforts to become winner again.
But while it is clear it is doing all it can to move up the grid, Red Bull motorsport advisor Marko thinks that it is wasting its time trying to win with the former Lotus outfit in the short-term.
Instead, Marko suggests that with currently confirmed drivers Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer on board, Renault would be better off throwing its weight behind trying to help Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat achieve success with Red Bull.
"If Renault were clever they would put everything on us, because with this team (Lotus) and these drivers they won't manage anything at all," Marko was quoted as saying by the Salzburg Nachrichten newspaper.
Maldonado's place at Lotus remains in doubt, however, following issues with backer PDVSA. Kevin Magnussen remains in talks with the outfit in case the Venezuelan is dropped, with a final decision due imminently.
Marko's comments come despite the intense criticisms he gave Renault last year for its lack of competitiveness, which prompted his team to chase deals with Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda.
He is also in no doubts that Mercedes will start 2016 as the team to beat, because F1's ever-restrictive rules make it too hard for the opposition to catch up.
"If nothing changes Mercedes will dominate all over again," he said. "The rules at the moment are such that it is impossible to catch up."