Piquet: Renault Will Be Stronger in Melbourne

Although the Renault R29 didn't show many signs of improvement during the first day of testing at Jerez, Brazilian race driver Nelsinho Piquet believes his team will be a front-runner through the upcoming 2009 season. Piquet finished the rain-affected testing session at the Spanish circuit on bottom of the timing sheets, with the R29 having a few reliability problems throughout the day.

However, when asked what were his thoughts on the new season and who was his team going to battle for position in 2009, Piquet insisted Renault will be up there, battling with the big guys. He revealed that the team's technical Pat Symonds still has a few updates to fit on the R29, which can only improve the car's performances by Melbourne.

“We will only know who is where, who is quick, and who is not quick in Australia. Until then everybody is going to be running KERS and not running KERS, we never know fuel loads and aero updates; everyone will be at different levels until there. So to be honest at the moment we have to work on our issues and work on our set-up. We look at the screen and we look at the times but it is not something that is going to worry us,” said Piquet.

“We know that some teams have a lot of downforce already now, and they don't have much more for Australia. We know some teams have much more for Australia. So I am not too worried about that. I think if we resolve our problems, the factory has quite a few updates to put on the car and it should be a lot better in Australia,” added the Brazilian sophomore.

However, Piquet reckoned that – apart from the classical rivals Ferrari and McLaren – several teams have brought significant improvements to their racing programs, with the top two being Red Bull Racing and Williams F1. “Williams look good, Red Bull look amazing. I am sure the big teams like Ferrari and McLaren will be there, and then there will be a big fight between BMW, us and the other teams,” added Piquet.
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