Fernando Alonso and Renault team principal Flavio Briatore are today reported to be optimistic about the rest of their season.
The Spaniard told Spanish newspaper 20 Minutos that he ”was ready to fight for the world championship”, following the new interim diffuser the team ran in China.
Meanwhile boss Briatore appeared quietly confident, as he maintained that there was still a long way to go in the championship.
‘The championship is long and I’m confident from Bahrain things will get better for us,” he said.
The Anglo-French concern are adamant that their R29 has made significant progress since the start of the season, with Alonso reporting that the car’s grip was much improved with the new rear arrangement. The double world champion qualified a magnificent second in Shanghai and was unlucky not to be fighting at the front after being required to pit early on. Nevertheless, he managed to finish ninth, fighting his way through from the back, giving some insight into the car’s potential.
Over the other side of the garage things are not so happy, however. Rumours continue to surface that Nelson Piquet Jr has only a few races in which to save his Renault career, after a series of unconvincing performances from the young Brazilian. Names in the frame to replace him have included his compatriot Bruno Senna.
Briatore stated that he had not yet reached the point of passing judgement on Piquet, however.
“I only want to judge his performance in a completely normal race,” said the Italian.