More horse power could spur Fernando Alonso back into form when formula one resumes at Magny Cours, France, in two weeks.
Not only is the event a home race for Renault, but – in contrast to Indianapolis where he finished a distant fifth – it is simply expected to better suit the Spaniard’s ‘R26’ racer.
But there is another reason. 24-year-old Alonso is finally due to receive the new ‘C’-spec V8 engine — the specification used by teammate Giancarlo Fisichella at the US GP.
‘AS’ newspaper claims that it is up to twenty horse power, or two tenths, superior to Alonso’s Indy-spec ‘B’ unit. With the usual 10 horse power de-tuning for a second event, then, Fernando will be up to 30 hp better off in comparison to the US GP.
But Renault’s Denis Chevrier played down the difference between Fisichella and Alonso’s Indianapolis power plants. Apparently, Fisichella’s early ‘C’ engine was not being run in its most aggressive setting.
”We are talking about three kilometres per hour,” engine chief Chevrier said, ”so the difference is not huge.”
Moreover, in Britain’s ‘Sun’ tabloid, Alonso said he was not worried that his championship lead over Michael Schumacher dropped from 25 to 19 points at the weekend.
He insisted: ”The races keep going and the gap never goes below 15 points. So it’s a comfortable gap.”