Given the financial backing of Lawrence Stroll and his consortium, as well as the increased brand exposure attracting numerous big-name sponsors, the Silverstone-based team has already started work on improved infrastructure and a new factory.
While Stroll claimed earlier this year the team already has what it takes to become champions, Szafnauer has warned against expecting instantaneous success.
"It is a lot easier to say we will be fighting for and winning a world championship and actually doing it," said Szafnauer.
"The two things that have to happen is that we need a good plan for us to start today and get to world championship contenders, and then we have got to execute.
"We are in the midst of that planning now and the execution will definitely take some time. People in Formula 1 and other teams have said you have to give three years to do so and we are no different.
"For the last year, we have planned a new factory, new infrastructure and a place to house all of us under one roof to house the team and the implementation of that has just begun at Silverstone and towards the end of 2022, we should be moving into a new factory.
"We are going to need state-of-the-art tools that will help us design and develop a car that is worthy of contending for a world championship. So that is a few years away. If I have to look into the future, that will be a three-to-five-year time period."
As well as trying to close the gap to those ahead in the championship through the breath-of-life rebranding, the sport could bring increased competition for titles through the radical regulatory changes that will come into force next season.
Technical director Andrew Green has pointed to this as a possible opening for the team.
"These things don't happen overnight and they take a lot of planning," said Green.
"The regulatory ground is changing. As we move into the cost cap era, we are only now finding out how best we could operate, not only now but in the future.
"That is playing a big part in our planning. So that is all new for us, it is new for everybody.
"That is an area where we will be taking a big, long hard look at that for the future so we can be the most efficient team in the cost cap era."
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