For the ING Renault F1 Team, 2007 was a season that fell short of high initial expectations. Following on from back-to-back world championship titles, the team expected to once again be challenging at the front of the field. However,...
For the ING Renault F1 Team, 2007 was a season that fell short of high initial expectations. Following on from back-to-back world championship titles, the team expected to once again be challenging at the front of the field.
However, difficulties adapting to the Bridgestone control tyres, coupled with other technical problems, meant the team had to work rigorously throughout the season to analyse and solve the car's performance deficit.
The team's drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen proved decisive in this process, and their unstinting hard work helped the team make significant improvements to the car throughout the season.
Kovalainen scored his first career podium with a second-place finish in Japan, while Giancarlo Fisichella's strongest finish was an assured fourth place in Monaco.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank both Giancarlo and Heikki for their hard work throughout a long and difficult year," commented Managing Director Flavio Briatore.
"We expected to have a car capable of winning races, but that didn't prove the case. Rather than let their heads drop, both drivers worked even harder to turn the situation around.
"Giancarlo's experience was a crucial factor in helping us improve our performance, and he leaves the team after making a vital contribution to our two championship years in 2005 and 2006. We thank him for making these special moments possible for the team, and wish him well for the future.
"Heikki's rookie season included some challenges, but he coped with all of them and came out a better and stronger driver. He has shown everybody in F1 that he is a fast, intelligent and engaging driver, who is definitely capable of winning races in the future. We are proud to have given him his start in Formula 1, and wish him the very best for what is sure to be an outstanding career."