Renault Formula One Director Predicts Better Performance
Topics: Renault, Pat Symonds
June 28, 2007
With seven races already in the books, the French Formula One team Renault is sitting at fourth place behind McLaren, Ferrari, and BMW Sauber. Team Executive Director Pat Symonds though predicts that they can catch up with BMW Sauber. The former race engineer of the retired seven-time champion Michael Schumacher pointed out that Renault has been making progress since the Monaco Grand Prix and they will be looking to take third place from BMW starting at the French Grand Prix which will be held on Sunday.
Symonds stated that the R27, their new Formula One car, will be performing better as the next race will be held in European soil after two races in North America. It was at the Monaco Grand Prix that the R27 started showing its potential when Renault driver Giancarlo Fisichella finished fourth.
During the past three races, the two Formula One cars for Renault have been performing well as well as their drivers. After Fisichella placed fourth at the Monaco Grand Prix, it was the rookie Heikki Kovalainen who has racked up points for Renault at the Canadian and United States Grands Prix. The Finn finished fourth in Canada and fifth in the United States.
Currently, Renault is caught up in a battle at the middle of the standings with Red Bull, Williams, and Toyota. With their recent successes though, Renault is looking to break away from the pack and challenge BMW Sauber.
“The results don't quite tell the full story, because some odd things happened to both teams in both [the Canadian and American] races, but, in overall terms, I think it's indicative of the fact that the tide is turning,” said Symonds. “We are very close to BMW now and racing them hard. Without a doubt, we have upped our game and pulled out of the midfield bunch we were in. And there's still more to come.”
Renault is the two-time defending constructor’s champion and the slow start to the season allowed BMW to lead them in the standings early on. At the North American leg of the current season, Renault took home as many points as BMW Sauber did. Both teams took 9 points at the two North American races. BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica though was not able to participate at the United States Grand Prix due to his accident in Canada which has broken his Formula One car into pieces including the BMW transmission mount and other parts.
Despite the fact that the absence of Kubica at the United States Grand Prix, Renault is keen to point out that their car is improving to the point that they are now in a position to challenge BMW Sauber.
“The first thing to say - and it's an important point - is that the work is progressing,” said Symonds. “Of course, it is never fast enough - we all want to be leading championships and winning every race and you're never happy until you are doing so - but we take a lot of comfort from the fact that, after a poor start to the year, we are pulling it back so rapidly. Other teams are not having a great season, and not pulling it back as we are. There is plenty to be proud of in what we are doing.”
Renault is looking to perform at their home country of France. The French Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on the first of July.
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