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Renault hopeful of debuting 'stage two' diffuser.

Renault F1 director of engineering Pat Symonds has confirmed that the team is doing all it can to bring a revised version of its original 'double decker' diffuser to the first European grand prix of the season.

Speaking in the build-up to this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix - the home race for star driver Fernando Alonso - Symonds revealed that the hitherto disappointing R29 would receive an aerodynamic makeover with or without the latest diffuser, but admitted that he was hoping to see the key revision ready to go in Barcelona after watching Alonso and team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr struggle for points in the four 'flyaway' rounds that opened the year.

"I'm disappointed with our start to the season," he confessed, "We're all well aware of the difficulties of trying to assess competitiveness through winter testing but, when we arrived in Melbourne, we did feel we were higher up the pecking order than the performance we actually delivered.

"However, what has impressed me is how the whole team has responded to the need to become more competitive, particularly following the clarification of the diffuser regulations as we managed to get the new-style diffuser onto one of the cars in China, which is a credit to the whole team. So it has been a disappointing start, but we've definitely moved up the order in the last four races and there's a lot more to come.

"The whole team is still pushing hard with development, and the diffuser and floor that we brought to China was very much a first attempt. Over the course of the year, we will see several more versions, the first of which we hope to have in Barcelona.

"In addition, we've got new wheel fairings this weekend - with quite a major design change to give us an increase in downforce - and a new rear wing. On top of that, we've got a few small aerodynamic tweaks that we will introduce on a race-by-race basis but, overall, we can expect a reasonable step in performance for Barcelona. We weren't particularly satisfied with our performance there during winter testing and I think that was probably because our aero performance was significantly below that of the cars with twin diffusers. Now that we have hopefully improved our performance with our own new style diffuser, we certainly hope that Barcelona will be a bit more favourable for us."

Despite the difficulties Alonso and Piquet have had in pushing the R29 into the top eight - and the rumours surrounding the Brazilian's future with the team - Symonds argues that both have managed to get everything possible from the car.

"I think they are, especially now that we've introduced the twin diffuser, because the car was quite sensitive and difficult to set-up with the more conventional diffuser," he said, reflecting on Piquet's better showing in Bahrain, "The car used to have a very small sweet spot in terms of set-up, which made it difficult for Fernando and Nelson to get the most from the car.

"I do believe that this has improved since we've fitted the new diffuser, but it's still difficult to judge because we have been so limited with the amount of running we've done, especially in dry conditions. So we still have a lot to learn about the R29, but I do feel it's becoming easier for us to get the most from the car."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Renault R29, Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, 24-26th, April, 2009
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Jerome Stoll (FRA) Renault Sport F1 President
27.11.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Renault Sport F1 Team group photo, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
26.11.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
26.11.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
26.11.2016 - Alain Prost (FRA) and Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Managing Director
26.11.2016 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
26.11.2016 - Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Managing Director and Jerome Stoll (FRA) Renault Sport F1 President

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jeff - Unregistered

May 05, 2009 9:05 PM

It is ashame that motorsport does not mention our beloved rally super star Riaz Kurji who passed away while leading Uganda pearl of Africa on 2nd May... a 3rd round of African rally championship... He was an flamboyant super fast driver africa has ever had and died leading by 3 minutes for only 10 stages. Adieu champion, greet for me Great Ayrton Senna, Colin Mcrae and Craig Jones... You will be remembered as Ayrton senna of rally in Africa. RIP.

nealio

May 05, 2009 4:33 PM

Interesting language from Symonds describing the formula is becoming tyre-dominated. Would this suggest that the Renault chassis doesn't use the tires as well as some others? Renault has designed a inefficient car 3 years running now. Is the design team past it's prime?



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