Renault aiming to improve KERS and aerodynamics
Renault technical director Bob Bell says the team needs to lift its games in “several areas” to improve its R29 car, including working out how to get more from its KERS system.
And despite being one of only four teams to be using its kinetic energy recovery system and associated power-boost function, Fernando Alonso said Renault’s system gave little help to his attempts at making his way through the field. However, Bell believes there is not a fundamental weakness with the R29 and instead thinks the team just needs to tap into more of the car’s potential in order to unlock extra pace.
“I don't think we have a specific problem,” he said. "I think that we need to lift our game in several areas to get more aero performance from the car.
“We've also got to get the balance of the car a bit more to the drivers' liking and work on the tuning of the KERS system to get more from it.
“So it's a question of maximizing what we already have in all areas rather than a specific problem to resolve.”
“The Sepang circuit is very smooth which should be more to our advantage compared with the bumpier surface that caused us problems in Melbourne,” he said.
“I also think the KERS system will be more of a benefit in Malaysia as the circuit has a couple of long straights and so I'm confident we can do a better job this weekend.
“With Australia and Malaysia being back-to-back races, we won't be able to introduce any new developments in such a short space of time and so we need to concentrate on getting more performance out of our existing package.”
Alonso shares Bell’s encouragement for the Sepang weekend, the Spaniard looking to maintain an impressive record at the sweeping venue having scored points there in each of the past six seasons.
“Sepang is totally different to Melbourne and so I expect our car to be more suited to the circuit,” he explained.
“It's a special track for me as I've won there twice and it's probably my favorite circuit so I always enjoy racing there.
“There are lots of fast, sweeping corners and it's a circuit where you can really appreciate the performance of a Formula 1 car.
“In terms of our competitiveness, I hope we will be stronger there, but as we saw in Melbourne all the teams are very closely matched and we will have to fight hard to finish in the points.”
The former world champion believes that getting three key elements of the race weekend right will make the difference to enjoying a strong weekend or not.
“Australia we struggled in qualifying and our race suffered as a result,” he said.
“So we need to make sure we qualify well so that we can have a strong race.
“We also need to make sure we get the most from our KERS system at the start of the race as there is a long run to the first corner where it should make a big difference.
“We must also concentrate on understanding the tires because Melbourne showed that the two compounds play a major role in determining the performance of the car.
“This will be particularly important in Malaysia where the track temperatures will be very high so we need to see how the tires perform in these conditions.”