The engineer in charge of the partnership between Renault and Red Bull Racing admits that things could have been better this season, but insists that there is little wrong with the Adrian Newey-penned RB3 that reliability wouldn't put right.

Speaking on the regie's official team site, Fabrice Lom confirms that the relationship between the two parties is working well, but admits that RBR has failed to capitalise on the improvement it showed heading into the second third of the season.

"Our performance was on the up in Barcelona, Monaco and in Montreal but then it ground to a halt," he suggested, "I think our rivals have made a step forward and they've closed the gap. And then we had some bad luck - technical problems for Mark Webber in qualifying at Magny-Cours, a Saturday at Silverstone that could've been better and so on. It's down to a multitude of factors. The car, though, is worth a lot more than these results indicate."

Asked what the goals were for the second half of the season, Lom pointed to reliability as the key.

"Above all, it's a factor that's still a major handicap," he confessed, "Then we have to find some more pace to pull out a decisive advantage over our closest rivals, Toyota and Williams. We've come a long way, but there's still a long way to go!"

Among the positives to have come out of the first half of 2007 is the strengthening relationship between Renault and Christian Horner's team, and the stability already guaranteed for 2008.

"We've learned to get to know each other and our relationship is now going full steam ahead," Lom confirmed, "When we arrived, we showed that our philosophy was to bring more than just a V8 engine to our partner, and I think that that approach was very well received. Today, the team wants all the information that we can supply. It's a true partnership.

"Guaranteeing the stability of a team is the best way to move forward. The information gathered this year will be integrated into the 2008 car; the drivers will know where they are and the team will be familiar with the engine. Then we can get down to learning about the standard ECU, which promises to be one of next season's major challenges."



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