F1 News, Views and Reviews

Bell Confident Of Renault R29 Performance

Bob Bell of Renault F1 Team has admitted he is very confident that the Renault R29 will be on the pace from the outset of the 2009 Formula One season when it gets underway in around 6 weeks time.

The R29 has had some difficult tests recently, on Thursday in Jerez it was the slowest of all the cars, but double world champion Fernando Alonso managed to peg back ground on his rivals being around 0.2 seconds slower than current world champion Lewis Hamilton.

The R29’s development has suffered a little with the poor weather conditions, which destroyed the Portimao Algarve test.

“It’s still very early days, but I’m becoming increasingly more satisfied with the performance of the car,” said Bell.

“Obviously the Portimao test was a disappointment to us as we only had one dry day and although the car ran well from a reliability point of view, we still had lots of unanswered performance-related questions.

“It’s true that we didn’t look great at that first test, but that was not really a surprise to us as we simply got the car out with an interim set of bodywork so that we could get miles on it, evaluate reliability and get the KERS system up and running. So we didn’t really expect to be that competitive, especially as we were learning about the set-up that is needed for this new generation of cars.

“Since then we’ve put a lot of things right at the Jerez test and I think we’ve made good progress. Overall I’m encouraged by what we’ve seen so far.

“From what we’ve seen in Jerez this week, I don’t feel there are any fundamental problems with the car: it’s well balanced and is responding well to changes. We’re lacking a bit of grip, which is the same for everybody, but that will improve as we fit new parts to the car and continue our development up to the first race.

“Overall I feel we’re on course to deliver a good performance in Melbourne.”

The Renault R29 at the hands of Nelson Piquet Jr

The Renault R29 at the hands of Nelson Piquet Jr

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