Turkish GP - Renault - PreviewFernando Alonso
pushed hard last time out in Monaco, recording a seventh place finish for the Renault team. The additional two points move the double world champion seventh in the drivers’ standings and the Anglo-French team sixth in the constructors’
“Fernando has been working really hard and extracting the maximum from the car and every situation,” explained Renault Director of Engineering Pat Symonds. “He’s really driving as well as I’ve ever seen him drive, although like all of us he’s frustrated that we’re not fighting in the position we’d like to be.”
While Symonds is happy with the performance being put in by his lead driver, he acknowledges that we won’t be satisfied until the team has a car capable of podium finishes.
“I was partially satisfied with our performance as we were still around one percent from the fastest car in qualifying, which is obviously a big improvement compared with where we were earlier in the season,” he continued. “We had the fourth fastest lap of the race, which was close to the leading pace, although that needs to be understood in the context of when it happened in the race. I’m satisfied with the progress we’re making both aerodynamically and mechanically, but I won’t be totally satisfied until we are on the podium.”
From the twists and turns of the Monaco street circuit, the team now head to Istanbul for the Turkish Grand Prix. As ever, the team continues to push on with further aerodynamic updates to the R29 package.
“The primary focus is on aerodynamics and for Turkey the attention has been on the front wing and the end plates with updates in those areas,” Symonds said. “The front wing is such an important area of the car because it’s the first part to meet the air and the flow that comes off it determines the aerodynamics behind it. So that’s where our focus is, but we aren’t ignoring the other areas as we’re continually working on the suspension and will do so again in Turkey. These won’t be huge updates, nor changes to the geometry, but they focus on the fundamental way we set the car up in combination with the aerodynamics so that we can get the two to work in harmony.”
Alonso himself admits that the team need to make a big step forward if they are to challenge the all-conquering Brawn Mercedes team and while he is confident the team are making gains, does not expect the pecking order to change significantly in Turkey.
“I’m not expecting to jump to the front of the grid in Turkey,” said Alonso. “However, I still believe that later in the year we can be back fighting for podiums and winning races, just as we did last year. We know it won’t be easy, but the whole team is extremely motivated and determined to get back to the front.”