Renault – happy with 2006 and keen to keep winning

Renault’s Pat Symonds has insisted that he would not have done anything this season differently, even though he claimed it had been the hardest season of his Formula 1 career. He admitted that a couple of Renault decisions early on could have prevented the stressful season climax but said he was happy with the team’s overall approach.

He explained, “With the benefit of hindsight, I would make sure we redesigned the wheel nut mechanism before Budapest, not afterwards, and I would not have changed Fernando’s front tyres in China. “The battle on track was tough, really tough. Our rivals didn’t seem to have any weaknesses, or almost none, so we had to seize every little opportunity. And it was a difficult season politically, as well. It was hard to come to terms with events like the mass damper affair and Fernando’s penalty in Monza.”

He said that despite the setbacks which allowed Ferrari to close the gap significantly towards the latter part of the season, morale at Renault remain high. We worked very hard to keep everybody motivated. We explained the situation to them, and made sure everybody remained confident. They were already world champions, and there was no reason why they could not do it again. “To win a world title is always an honour for the people involved, but to do the same again the following year, with a double championship victory, is an achievement that really deserves recognition. It proves that the previous year’s success was in no way lucky.”

Meanwhile, Fisichella has stated he believes that he will be fighting for the drivers’ title next year despite a disappointing 2006. Fisi only managed one race win and ended the season in fourth place, 60 points behind his team-mate Alonso. Fisichella believes that he will be one of the contenders alongside Alonso and Raikkonen. “I’m confident to win the world championship. I will be a main player together with Raikkonen and Alonso,” he said to Italian paper Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’m aware that for next year I have at my disposal a great car and a great team with whom I’ve already worked for two years, so I know them well.”