F1

Renault aims for repeat performance

Renault aims for repeat performance

This season Renault bought Ferrari's long-running reign to an end and, unsurprisingly, the French squad is aiming to be back on top next year. Technical director Bob Bell was sure that Renault could take the fight to McLaren right to the end of...

This season Renault bought Ferrari's long-running reign to an end and, unsurprisingly, the French squad is aiming to be back on top next year. Technical director Bob Bell was sure that Renault could take the fight to McLaren right to the end of this season, despite McLaren's superior speed that put the Woking squad ahead in the standings with two races to go.

Flavio Briatore and Bob Bell celebrate.
Photo by LAT Photographic.

"We always knew the season would go down to the wire and even when McLaren's advantage was significant, I was confident we had the ability to take it to the final race," said Bell. "We pushed hard, took risks when we had to, didn't when we didn't need to. It was a well-balanced approach that paid off."

In regard to 2006, Bell is confident Renault can fight for the titles once more but vowed not to become complacent. "Absolutely," he stated when asked if the team could achieve the championship again. "It is something we will make sure the team takes on board. We have no intention of making the same errors as some other teams have made in the past."

"There is no arrogance about our position, and we never take for granted that it is secure. I think we saw Ferrari do it at the start of the season, and McLaren clearly underestimated us at the end. That won't be our attitude for next year. It will be a question of hard work to ensure we deliver."

Of course, now the season is over everyone will soon be talking about how optimistic and determined they are for next year, if they're not already. "I am very happy and confident for next year as well because the potential is here in the team," said Fernando Alonso, who claimed the drivers' crown this year along with helping Renault to the constructors'.

Alonso's main rival in 2005, McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, had to admit defeat in Brazil but is looking forward to rejoining the battle next season. "I will try next year again," said the Finn. "I will try to give him (Alonso) a hard time and I am sure he will do the same for me, so hopefully we will fight again next year."

And what about deposed champ Michael Schumacher? Neither Alonso nor Raikkonen has written off the Ferrari man and still consider him a threat for 2006. "He (Schumacher) didn't get the opportunity to win many races but for sure next year will be the favourite one again to start the championship," Alonso remarked.

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