World champions Renault aim to defend their titles this year and Giancarlo Fisichella is confident that the R26 is looking good. Like the other teams, Renault has been racking up the test miles over the winter and Fisichella described the new car...
World champions Renault aim to defend their titles this year and Giancarlo Fisichella is confident that the R26 is looking good. Like the other teams, Renault has been racking up the test miles over the winter and Fisichella described the new car as being an improvement on its title-winning predecessor.
"It is good. I have got a good feeling with the R26," he told the team website. "I am really comfortable in the car, and we have made a step forward compared to last year, especially with the rear end of the car."
"It is more stable under braking and in the middle of the corner, and the traction is a good improvement as well. Even though we have lost power with the change to the V8 engine, we have definitely made a step forward with the car."
"Things are improving day by day, and I am getting a better feeling with the car. At the moment, I am concentrating on the job, and I am feeling confident for the season."
Last season -- barring Indianapolis, obviously -- the Michelin runners enjoyed an advantage over the Bridgestone teams. This year Williams and Toyota revert to Bridgestone, so the teams are more evenly distributed between the two manufacturers, which may help Bridgestone. But Fisichella believes Michelin is still ahead of the Japanese company.
"I think they are doing very well," he said of the French tyre supplier. "We have a good level of performance on the first lap, and the consistency is good too. There has been some graining sometimes, but it depends on the track temperatures. Overall, I think they are looking better than Bridgestone."
Fisichella won the 2005 season opener in Melbourne and while he'd naturally like to do the same at Bahrain in three weeks time, his sights are set on the biggest win of all. "Yes I hope so," he said when asked if he could repeat his first race victory.
"But the important thing is to win the rest of the season and score lots of points. Last year I had some problems, so I didn't have enough points to fight for the championship. This year, I want to win."