Renault managing director Flavio Briatore talks about the R26 and the drivers Q: What do you think of the R26? Flavio Briatore on stage. Photo by xpb.cc. Flavio Briatore: The first tests showed that it is a good car. I want to ...
Renault managing director Flavio Briatore talks about the R26 and the drivers
Q: What do you think of the R26?
Flavio Briatore: The first tests showed that it is a good car. I want to congratulate our teams in Viry and Enstone. There was a very tight timescale for the R26, because we wanted to run the car as early as possible in order to prepare well for Bahrain.
Q: The V8 engine ran on track late relative to the competition. Is that a problem?
FB: The season begins in March. We planned the development of the new engine for this date. I don't see the point of testing an engine in November to have it fail after three laps. We did 1000 km in our first test. That's what matters.
Q: Fernando Alonso will leave Renault at the end of the year. Will his decision disrupt the team this season?
FB: Not at all. Fernando is a professional. He will do everything the maximum to defend his title. On our side, the team will be doing everything it can to help both drivers achieve this. Don't forget Benetton had a similar situation early in 1995, when Michael Schumacher announced he was leaving for Ferrari. That didn't stop us fighting for the title.
Q: What are you expecting from Giancarlo Fisichella?
FB: Giancarlo did an excellent job last year. Fernando won the drivers' championship, but we took the constructors' title as well. To do that, a team needs two strong drivers. Fisico is now more comfortable in the team, and he is one of the best out there. He can have a very good season.
Q: Your budget is not the highest on the grid, but the team is still competitive...
FB: I have a simple rule: the priority is what makes the car go faster. We are proud of the efficiency of the team. Last year, Renault won the championship with three times' less money than some of our competitors.
Q: The R26 has been unveiled and the season is now officially underway. Does that bring pressure?
FB: There is always pressure at the start of a championship. There is no point hiding from it. 2005 was an exceptional season for us, and we hope to be able to do it again.