New Renault breaks cover in Jerez 16 Jan 2007
The new Renault, the R27, made its first public appearance in Spain on Tuesday, ahead of its official launch next week. Race driver Giancarlo Fisichella carried out a shakedown run in the teams 2007 challenger as Formula One testing resumed at the Jerez circuit.
Fisichella completed 33 laps as he spent the day carrying out basic system checks, accumulating mileage and gradually building the cars reliability levels. Although the machines final run ended prematurely due to an engine problem, the Italians feedback on the R27s performance was positive.
It is always a special moment to drive a new car for the first time, and it felt good to take to the track in the R27 this morning, he explained. The car is very impressive visually, and straight away it felt comfortable to drive.
The circuit was quite dirty with low grip levels, so it was difficult to make a proper judgement on the performance and the handling, especially as our running was cut short with the engine problem at the end of the day. But so far the car is reacting as we expected, and has the same comfortable feeling as the R25 and R26.
Technical director Bob Bell was equally optimistic, despite the engine problems: We encountered the normal gremlins that you expect on any shakedown, but the initial signs and feedback from Giancarlo were positive, and we will look to build on that solid start during the next three days of testing.
The R27, which will be officially launched in Amsterdam on January 24, sported a dark blue and yellow livery for Tuesdays test, although this is expected to change before the start of the season to reflect Renaults new title sponsors, the ING Group.
Fisichella will be joined on track on Wednesday by team mate Heikki Kovalainen, who will drive a second R27 chassis, as the team look to put as many miles as possible on the new car and to assess its basic handling characteristics.