F1 »

Symonds happy to have closed gap on Toyota.

Renault engineering director Pat Symonds has stoked up the battle between the Enstone team and rivals Toyota as the Formula One season enters its home stretch with a first visit to Singapore.

Speaking in the build-up to the first ever grand prix to be run at night, Symonds suggested that, while the battle for fourth place in the constructors' championship was too close to call with four races to run, Renault had the better chance of being 'best of the rest' behind this season's leading trio of Ferrari, McLaren and BMW Sauber.

Two successive fourth places for Fernando Alonso in Belgium and Italy closed a ten-point gap between the protagonists heading into the 'flyaway' conclusion to the season, and Symonds reckons that that points to Renault holding the upper hand.

"You can't get any closer than equality!" he smiled, referring to the tie the teams currently find themselves in, "Obviously, as the number of races decreases, even a constant gap becomes more difficult to deal with, so it's nice to have made up the ground we needed to so quickly.

"I do believe though that, on balance, our car is better than the Toyota. It's very close and there are certainly days when they might be stronger than us and days when we are stronger than them. We beat them in Monza by out-racing them as a team, but it's far from over and we know we are going to have a tough fight on our hands through to the end of the season."

With most teams now focusing on the heavily-revised regulations for 2009, the midfield cars can expect to run without much modification from now on, although Symonds revealed that Renault will have a couple of tweaks for Singapore.

"We will have the final updates for the R28, including a new front wing," he confirmed, "In previous years, when we have been working on the new car in the wind tunnel, we have always hoped to see developments that we can use on the current car, but it's not the case this year because the aerodynamics for next season are so different. So this really is the end of the updates, other than any changes that may be made for reliability."

Alonso's performance in the Italian Grand Prix came as a surprise to most, even at Enstone, and Symonds admits that the adverse weather over Monza certainly played a part, but he was quick to praise the level of teamwork that allowed the regie to claw back the deficit to its main rival.

"We hadn't had a great test at Monza, so we didn't think it was going to be a great circuit for us," he confirmed, "We arrived there knowing that we still had a lot of set-up work to do and, therefore, the poor weather was a mixed blessing because, although we couldn't continue exploring alternative set-up options, it probably equalised things a little bit and allowed us to punch above our weight.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28, Italian F1 Grand Prix, Monza, 12th-14th, September, 2008
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
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

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.