According to the aforementioned source, Flavio Briatore's team is not very satisfied with the new car's performances. Despite the power boost granted by the FIA on Renault's engines ahead of 2009, the new car is reportedly having some important problems in terms of low-speed handling.
The subject was thoroughly looked into by the Spanish media following Renault R29's poor performances at Portimao. Rumor has it – according to media reports in Spain – that Alonso complained about the new car's behavior at low speed and urged his team to make the necessary adjustments ahead of the last 2 tests of the year before the Australian Grand Prix.
Renault has neither confirmed not denied such rumors. In the meantime, Alonso decided to keep a low profile on the matter, pointing out that the Algarve test was his first outing with the car and that the R29's performance was not a testing requirement in Portugal. He confirmed for Spanish sports newspaper Marca that Renault will concentrate on scoring good lap times in the final testing sessions of the off-season.
If the rumors are true, it won't be the first time Renault had faced such problems this winter. Earlier this month, only a few days to the unveiling of their 2009 challenger, Renault were surprised to find out that the R29 had failed the FIA-required crash tests for the new season. However, the Enstone-based team managed to fix the car in time for its official launch, some 10 days later.