Renault to Challenge for the F1 Title in 2009

Renault don't make any secret from the fact that they are determined to fight for the championship this year. Following a title-dry period in the last 3 years – mainly due to the low-performance engines they have been using since the engine freeze – the Enstone based team now seems ready to get back on the winning streak.

If the expectations were not that high last season, when most of team's representatives and even Fernando Alonso admitted the car will not challenge for wins in 2008, everybody is solely thinking of the world title this year. And technical director Pat Symonds is the first to announce team's new objectives for 2009.

“The target I set at the beginning of the season is always the same: to be winning races and challenging for the championship - it would be wrong to have any other intention,” said Symonds in a Renault preview of the Australian Grand Prix next weekend.

“I do believe that we've got a car that is good enough to challenge for wins and when you combine that with our drivers and the team's ability to go racing, I'm fairly confident we can deliver a strong start to the season,” added the British technical.

Unlike last season, Alonso is also hopeful that Renault are now in a better position to challenge for race wins, especially with the new regulations that enabled all teams to start from scratch in the offseason.

“I think the order of the teams will probably be different from the last few years as we have got used to Ferrari and McLaren dominating, but with the new rules I think there will be lots of cars fighting for the win. Hopefully we will be in that fight,” added the 2-time world champion.

Renault were the first team to have announced the use of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System from as early as Australia. Ferrari joined the French manufacturer in announcing the debut of KERS this weekend, while BMW Sauber and McLaren are yet to make up their mind on the matter through the next week.
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