Exclusive: Renault straight-line test was scheduled

Renault have confirmed that their straight-line aerodynamic test at Kemble airport in Oxfordshire was scheduled and normal practice. The team s aero test came after speculation that the R29 was seriously underperforming after its lacklustre times at Portimao. It was followed by reports that the team took large amounts of equipment with them to the test to modify the car s performance.

A source inside the team told Forumula1.com that the test had been scheduled before the R29 had even been run at Portimao. Moreover, the source said although the team took five truckloads’ worth of equipment, the trucks were said to contain bulky KERS technology. That contradicts the suspicion that the team was making drastic changes to the car following its dire performance in Portugal.

The source blamed FIA restrictions for the nature of the test. As part of the cost-cutting measures, the FIA has reduced full scale wind-tunnel testing, forcing the teams to find other ways of analysing performance.

Further indications of the car s relative speed will emerge at Jerez de la Frontera, where Renault, McLaren, Red Bull, and Williams are to test next week. BMW and Ferrari are to test in Bahrain.