Briatore unfazed by Alonso’s lack of speed

Wed, 23 January 2008, 01:13

Flavio Briatore on Tuesday seemed unperturbed after Fernando Alonso took Renault’s new 2008 challenger to just sixth place on the Valencia test time sheets.

As the pre-season action at the Spanish circuit hotted up in front of 38,000 of Alonso’s countrymen, the ever impressive Ferraris locked out the pace.

Moreover, Williams’ Nico Rosberg and the McLaren runners, all driving new machinery, were all also quicker than the R28.

But Renault boss Briatore, on a rare visit to a test circuit, told the Spanish newspaper Diario AS: “The car is as it was when it left the factory.

“Before you can start changing things, the most important thing is the reliability.

“From tomorrow (Wednesday), we will begin to look at the settings,” the Italian said.

Local media, however, quoted Alonso as saying in Spanish that he had been “more comfortable” in the older R27, which he tested last week at Jerez.

Sources at Valencia also clarified media reports that said Alonso suffered a smoky problem late in the test day with the 2008 racer.

While the 26-year-old did have to abandon the newly unveiled car on the main straight with a few minutes of the session to run, it seems that Renault deliberately ran the car dry of fuel for a consumption test.

You may also like