Renault R26 - aerodynamic package 29 September 2006
Following the banning of its mass damper, the R26 seemed to lose its edge slightly. In Monza it seemed back in good shape, though the Italian track isn't the most demanding in terms of lateral load transfer and rapid direction changes. Nevertheless, the car looks well balanced aerodynamically, which will be key in China - for reaching a high top speed on the long straights using low-profile wings, while at the same time retaining good handling in the twisty section. The aero package for Shanghai is a development of that used at the not-dissimilar Indianapolis circuit, especially the rear wing (China set-up left, previous set-up right). The front wing should follow the configuration used in Turkey, but with slightly different wing angles. So, aero balance - assuming they get their tyre choice right - will likely be Renault's main strength in Shanghai. The question mark - after Alonso's retirement in Italy - could be the power and reliability of their RS26 engine.