Renault have set their sights on a podium finish in this week’s Brazilian Grand Prix as the battle for sixth place in the constructors’ championship hots up with two races remaining on the 2009 calendar.
The French team arrive in Sau Paulo on the back of a frustrating Japanese Grand Prix where a poor showing in qualifying left Fernando Alonso outside of the points on race day.
That enabled their rivals Williams to extend their lead in the battle for sixth place in the constructors’ championship to 34.5 with Renault on 26 points defending BMW Sauber on 24.
Interim Renault team principal Bob Bell has vowed to be aggressive in Brazil to close the gap to Williams.
“If we can qualify well, we can convert that performance into points,” he said. “We go to every race determined to win and at the very least aiming to finish on the podium, and we’re not going to alter our fundamental approach by being defensive to try and protect our position.”
“The only way that we can come out on top relative to both those teams is to take an aggressive approach and try to maximise our finishing positions.”
Commenting on the challenges of the Interlagos circuit Bell added: “It’s a demanding track for drivers as it’s anti-clockwise which puts a lot of demands on them physically.”
“In terms of the car, we will run with quite a lot of downforce and it’s important to have a well-balanced car with good stability which gives the drivers confidence.
“We’re also racing at altitude as the circuit is about 800 metres above sea level, which impacts on the power of the engine, so we will need to work on the mapping to optimise engine performance.”
Fernando Alonso, two times a world champion with the Renault, knows the significance of his final two races with the French team.
“We know that we have a very tough battle in the championship against Williams and BMW and so any points I can score in the final two races will be very important.”
“Interlagos is a circuit that will always be very special to me because I won both my world titles with Renault there. It’s one of the most enjoyable races of the year because the fans are so passionate about Formula One and there is an amazing atmosphere all weekend.”