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Updated engine for Fisichella at Imola 18 Apr 2006

Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 30 March 2006

Giancarlo Fisichella’s hopes of a home win in this weekend’s San Marino Grand Prix have received a boost with news that the Italian will be using a revised, B-spec version of Renault’s V8 engine. Team mate Fernando Alonso will not get the update until the next round at the Nurburgring.

“I have a fresh engine, and a bit more power from the new specification, so that gives me a fantastic chance for this race,” said Fisichella, who trails Alonso by 14 points in the driver standings. “We are not underestimating our rivals, because we know that the level of competition is very close the front. But I believe we have the package to win in Imola.”

Renault had planned to introduce the B-spec RS26 at the European Grand Prix, but Fisichella’s retirement in Bahrain prompted the team to accelerate its development. The team say they may not use the engine to its full potential in Sunday’s Imola race, but that it should still produce significant benefits.

“We have looked to gain performance by increasing the peak revs, and improving areas like cylinder filling and combustion,” explained Denis Chevrier, Renault’s head of trackside engine operations. “In qualifying trim, we expect a gain of several tenths of a second and the final dyno tests before the Grand Prix will allow us to determine exactly how much additional performance is available during the race.

“This early debut may lead us to use to conserve some of the engine's potential performance during the race in order to not compromise reliability. Fernando will receive the B-spec engine at the Nurburgring, as per our original schedule.”

Renault’s current RS26 engine has won all three 2006 races to date, helping the team to a commanding lead over McLaren in the constructors’ championship.