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After a somewhat disappointing first test of the newly launched Renault R29 at the Portimao circuit in Portugal last week, the French based squad have admitted that they are not overly concerned about finishing at the bottom of the timesheets, several seconds off the pace.
Bad weather was a factor in the test, however on the one day the skies were favorable to the teams in attendance, Fernando Alonso complained that the new car was lacking grip and poor performance. Despite this, the team’s director of engineering, Pat Symonds is not too concerned.
"I was disappointed. It wasn't a great test. We didn't really have everything quite the way we wanted it on the little bit of dry running we did,” he told Autosport. "But we did come away with a lot of data to study and saw some things that we need to attend to.”
“The aerodynamic maps of these cars are really very different and maybe we hadn't taken enough notice of that in the set-up. We can do better, which will make the car easier to drive and therefore better. But I really think this year more than ever it will be those last couple of tests that are the indicator."
"I don't really know the reasons. I do know that when we ran the softer tire we didn't get a time out of it for reasons that were not to do with the tire or the car. Obviously I don't know what the fuel loads were, but they were long runs, so I don't think there will be a huge difference. I do think at the moment that the Williams is probably quicker than us, but I don't think it's by two seconds."
01/29/09 There have been lots of rumors in recent days that all is not well with the aerodynamics of the new Renault F1 car. It is always hard to judge these things at this time of year but the car was not quick in the recent test in Portugal and Spanish newspapers are reporting that Fernando Alonso is not very happy. Thus it is interesting to note that yesterday Renault showed up at the Kemble airfield near Cirencester, where teams are able to do aerodynamic mapping work, running up and down the 6500ft runway. Normally these uncomplicated events involve just one F1 truck but yesterday Renault had five on site.
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