While Fernando Alonso has taken three consecutive wins this season, and has been on the podium at each of the five races, Renault teammate Giancarlo Fisichella has been plagued by car failures. The rumour mill is rumbling about preferential ...
While Fernando Alonso has taken three consecutive wins this season, and has been on the podium at each of the five races, Renault teammate Giancarlo Fisichella has been plagued by car failures. The rumour mill is rumbling about preferential treatment within the team as Alonso is hotly tipped to take the title this year.
However, Fisichella says Renault is giving him equal support. "The important thing is that Renault is doing everything possible to give Fernando and I the best car possible," he told the team website.
"The problems have concentrated around my car, but that's not anybody's fault -- it has been unfortunate, that's all. Everybody in the team is 100% behind me -- nobody is pleased if the car fails."
The Italian's latest disappointment came at Barcelona, when he was running second after beating Alonso in the first round of pit stops. Some damage to the undertray of his car forced him into a front wing change, leaving Alonso to take back the position.
It seemed a little strange when there was no obvious reason for the wing change but Fisichella said the car had lost a lot of downforce. He went on to finish fifth and set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap.
Technical director Bob Bell was quick to praise the Italian and deny any hint of favouritism to Alonso. "In general, we have let Giancarlo down on the reliability of his car so far this year, and that is disappointing because it is not how this team goes racing," he said.
"We have to make sure we get on top of our problems quickly, and we have been very critical of ourselves within the organisation to achieve that."
"Giancarlo drove a stunning race in Barcelona, and reinforced what we have always said about him: that he never gives up, and fights to the last lap. There is no question of preferential treatment, or different equipment for each driver -- that is not how we do things at Renault."
Team managing director Flavio Briatore shrugged off speculation that Alonso has a better car than Fisichella. "We showed on Sunday that, as we have said all along, we let our drivers race each other -- and treat them fairly," he remarked. "Besides, it is much more difficult for a team to make two different cars than two identical ones."
"When he had his problem, Giancarlo was running ahead of Fernando and deserved to finish second. He may have had some bad luck, but the way he fought back showed he can do great things. It already looks very promising for him in Monaco."