by Russell Atkins

Giancarlo Fisichella has expressed his disappointment with Renault's showing in last weekend's British Grand Prix, after the R?gie once again could only threaten to take on BMW as their race pace faded away again.

Having lined up eighth on the grid, the Italian looked racy during the early stages as he passed team-mate Heikki Kovalainen and closed the gap on BMW's Robert Kubica ahead in fourth place. An early touch with the Pole's team-mate Nick Heidfeld, however, would show its effects later on as his pace dropped off and he had to concede his position to Kovalainen once more, ultimately taking the chequered flag in the same spot as he had started.

"We did expect to be closer," the 34-year-old told at Silverstone, "but again they [BMW] were a couple of tenths faster than us so it was tough. I was quicker than Heikki at the beginning and he was quicker than me at the end."

"It was good at the beginning," he added. "I was really competitive in the first stint and close to Kubica, but then, in the second and third stints, something happened with the car. At the beginning of the race I touched Heidfeld on the left-hand side, so maybe I lost some parts because I lost a lot of downforce.

"Then towards the end the soft tyres were wearing a little bit too much. The team called me into the pits early at the end of the second stint because of traffic, so that made things a bit difficult."

Although understandably downbeat as to the outcome of the weekend, Fisichella remains confident that Renault is firmly back on the right track as it seeks to regain some vestige of its form of the past two years, that saw the Enstone-based outfit claim four world crowns out of four. In particular, he said he anticipated a significant boost in performance in Hungary in just under a month's time.

"Eighth is not a great result," the Roman admitted, "and I'm a little bit disappointed, but now we're looking forward to the next race. The car is improving with every race, and at Budapest we will have a new front wing which should be a good step forward."



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