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Renault aiming for 'best-of-the-rest' slot 14 May 2007

Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Renault R27 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Spanish Grand Prix, Race, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 13 May 2007

Following their improved showing in the Spanish Grand Prix, Renault should be fighting for podium places again by the end of the season. That is the view of team President Alain Dassas.

Renault were hampered by fuel rig problems in Sunday's race, requiring both Heikki Kovalainen and Giancarlo Fisichella to make additional pit stops. But that didn’t prevent Kovalainen scoring two points - and outpacing BMW Sauber to set the fourth-fastest lap of the afternoon.

“The car’s improving at every race,” Dassas told Renault’s website. “There’s obvious progress, although it’s in small steps at the moment. Now, we need to accelerate that development.”

After their difficult start to the season, Saturday’s qualifying session in Spain made it clear that the champions’ recent testing efforts had paid dividends. Both cars made it through to Q3 for this first time this year - and Kovalainen’s race pace proved it was no fluke. Dassas is confident the recovery will continue.

“We need to be fighting for podium places by the end of the season, and to try and become the third-quickest team,” he added. “That’s the minimum required. I’m fully confident and I know we’re capable of achieving that.”

Renault come away from Spain lying fourth in the constructors’ championship table on 11 points, 12 behind third-placed BMW Sauber.