Symonds hopeful Renault can challenge frontrunners 01 May 2008
Renaults executive director of engineering Pat Symonds believes the team now have what it takes to extricate themselves from the midfield pack and challenge McLaren and BMW Sauber, despite recording a double DNF at last weekends Spanish Grand Prix.
With Fernando Alonso taking an excellent front-row grid slot and Nelson Piquet making it into Q3 for the first time, the French teams R28 was a markedly improved car in Barcelona. And although a collision with Toro Rossos Sebastien Bourdais prematurely ended Piquets race and an engine failure forced Alonso to retire, Symonds is convinced the team is on the road to recovery.
Its unfulfilled potential and I think Id rather have unfulfilled potential than no potential, he said during a team podcast on Renaults official website. I hope it will pull us out of that midfield mire that weve been in this year. Then we can look at challenging McLaren and BMW further up.
The former world champions applied several dramatic revisions to their car in Spain, including a new shark-fin engine cover and a modified front bridge wing. And, according to Symonds, these developments, honed during the multi-team test session at the Circuit de Catalunya last month and successfully trialled during the Spanish race, should now benefit the team elsewhere.
We have been working very hard to try to improve the competitiveness of the car, he explained. Im pleased to say most of the stuff we had on the car was successful. They are not circuit specific and they will be on the car until such time as we find a better replacement. All of our new developments are transferable to Turkey and indeed there are a couple more reasonable ones coming.
Renault will arrive in Istanbul early next week ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix on May 9-11. They are currently seventh in the constructors standings with six points.