Renault Aims To Catch Up With BMW Sauber
Topics: Renault, BMW-Sauber
July 7, 2007
For the past two seasons, Renault was the top team to beat in Formula One. But double world champion Fernando Alonso jumped ship to McLaren Mercedes this season. That fact coupled with a slower car for the 2007 season has been dismal for the team. Although they are in fourth place in the constructors’ championship standings, the team is still looking for ways to improve their cars.
During the past four races, Renault showed an improvement as Giancarlo Fisichella finished fourth at the Monaco Grand Prix and sixth in the French Grand Prix. His teammate Heikki Kovalainen on the other hand finished fourth at the Canadian Grand Prix and fifth in the United States.
Fisichella said that they are now aiming to catch up with third place BMW Sauber. He said that at the British Grand Prix, they will receive good support from the employees of Renault’s Enstone plant. “It is another home race for us after Magny-Cours, with all the people from the factory at Enstone coming to support the team. So of course, a good result for them would be special.”
“But also because we have shown in the last few races that we are closing the gap, and we are in the fight. When you are in a situation like that, you want to be racing every weekend, to try and make that little bit more progress. Our fight will be with BMW Sauber again, and the target has to be to finish ahead of them,” added Fisi.
The Italian Formula One driver said that he likes competing at the Silverstone Circuit where the British Grand Prix will be held. “It's a fantastic track, one of the legendary circuits in Formula 1 and really selective for the cars and the drivers,” noted the Italian driver.
“The fast corners need real commitment, a very good chassis and a stable balance – which we have now with the R27. It is quite bumpy, and physical with a lot of high g-loads around the lap. A good lap at Silverstone is always satisfying, because the car and the driver both need to be working really well to achieve that. I finished fourth in the last two years, so if we could repeat that result, it would be a great performance for us.”
While Fisichella said that they are aiming to overtake BMW in the standings, his teammate Kovalainen said that they are not focusing solely on BMW. The said team fields the F1.07 with engine provided by the Bavarian automaker which also produces BMW E36 parts.
The Finn said that they are also looking to catch up with McLaren and Ferrari. “It's always hard to say before the event but if the trend continues, then they will be the ones we are looking out for,” said Kovalainen referring to McLaren and Ferrari.
“At the moment, it is very difficult to say if we are ahead of them or behind in terms of pure performance, but we are not focusing all our energy on BMW. We have to look beyond them, to McLaren and Ferrari, because we want to beat them too eventually. I know we will get there eventually, and keep on pushing to make sure we do.”
Renault currently has 28 points to its credit after eight races. The team trails BMW by 20 points, Ferrari by 61 and McLaren by 86 points. With nine races left in the 2007 Formula One calendar, Renault needs to make their move immediately.
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