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Renault's Going In The Right Direction Says Fisi

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault

Renault's Going In The Right Direction Says Fisi

Anthony Fontanelle
July 17, 2007

After a good performance at the British Grand Prix, watchers are amenable to the fact that Renault is really back on form. And Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella reassures a tight fight by saying that the team is going in the right direction.

Fisi, the Italian Formula One driver, may have scored a point at the last round, but finishing a lap down on the leaders was not where he wanted to be - especially as the team’s nearest rivals, BMW Sauber, finished a convincing fourth. Now the focus switches to the Nurburgring, one of the Italian driver’s favorite circuits. It is also where he is hoping for better things.

Asked whether the last two races were quite tough and the chance that he can turn things around this weekend, the Italian Formula One driver has this to say: “It is fair to say that the last two races were a bit disappointing, all the more so because they were our home races. We knew that it would be a tough battle with BMW: all of the teams are making progress, and our challenge is to do so faster than them in order to get ahead and try to close the gap in the championship. We are going in the right direction, and everybody is doing their maximum. I am convinced that if we carry on like this, our hard work will pay off.”

Does Fisichella enjoy European Grand Prix Nurburgring circuit? “Yes, I have some good memories here. It is a famous circuit, and the new, slow section at the start of the lap is demanding for the drivers and the cars. From my point of view, the old Nurburgring was definitely the best circuit in the world, so I am pleased to be racing here again,” he quipped.

“The most important thing is good traction on corner exit. We use quite high downforce, and the main worry is the understeer, which can be quite high. So we try and soften the front end to get good grip, by playing with the springs and anti-rollbars, while keeping the rear stiffer. That will be a major focus for us during the practice sessions,” Fisi noted.

“Maybe there will be fewer spectators, maybe not. Racing in Germany without Michael (Schumacher) will be very different, but there are a lot of racing fans there and the Nurburgring is an historic venue. We need to make sure we put on a good show for everybody,” the Italian driver concluded.

Aside from Fisichella, Renault has Heikki Kovalainen as race driver for 2007. Test drivers include Nelson Piquet Jr. and Ricardo Zonta. The R27 car for 2007, unveiled in January, bears new blue, yellow, orange and white livery which reflects the company’s corporate colors. Renault engines are also being used by Red Bull Racing team, while the Ferrari engine contract is being passed.

Questions have been raised regarding Renault's commitment to its Formula One team, particularly with the appointment of Carlos Ghosn as CEO in 2005. After Renault won both championships in 2006 for a second year, Ghosn said, “It is an important victory because it justifies the investment Renault has made in Formula One, and will make in the future. More and more, Formula One is working as an investment for us, not a loss.”

Renault F1 has a research relationship with Boeing, the aim of which is “to investigate technology collaboration projects of mutual interest.” Similar relationships include that of McLaren and BAE Systems. In said projects, the Mercedes Benz steering damper and other race parts are tested and improved to bolster a nice performance.

Source:  Amazines.com

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