A lot of people were surprised by the speed of the Ferraris in Melbourne and Renault's Fernando Alonso was closest to the scarlet cars in third place. Many of the Michelin teams struggled with tyre problems in the cool conditions but Renault had...
A lot of people were surprised by the speed of the Ferraris in Melbourne and Renault's Fernando Alonso was closest to the scarlet cars in third place. Many of the Michelin teams struggled with tyre problems in the cool conditions but Renault had chosen its rubber with lower temperatures in mind. Overall, the team made the most it could of the first race.
"Fernando drove an excellent race, he was robust when necessary and consistent," said executive director of engineering Pat Symonds. "Our tyres were fantastic, and we had chosen with an eye on the cooler temperatures predicted for the race. The engine performed strongly all weekend, and the set-up we found meant the cars were well balanced."
"I wasn't really surprised by our performance. I was, though, by Ferrari's! During the winter, it is hard to know what everybody is up to; that's doubly true of Ferrari, as they tested separately from the other teams during the winter."
"Having said that, this circuit maybe didn't allow us to fully capitalise on the strongest features of our package: I would have preferred to see slightly higher temperatures. What's more, Albert Park is always a place where Ferrari seem to go well. As for Renault, our podium was the result of a disciplined, well-managed weekend. That's a good sign."
There were some comments about Alonso and teammate Jarno Trulli's extremely quick starts in Melbourne. Launch control, something that Renault previously excelled at, is now banned but it didn't seem to make any difference to the drivers. The team did not comment on what the secret was, merely saying a lot of work had been done over the winter and their starts were within the rules.
In Malaysia Symonds is sure Renault will be making inroads to the gap between itself and Ferrari. "We go to each race with the ultimate objective of winning. But will we be able to do better in Malaysia than Australia? Yes, it's possible. I am sure we will be closer to the Ferraris. Of course, beating them is going to be a tough job, but that will be our aim."