A downbeat Giancarlo Fisichella has ruled out charging for the world championship, winning a single race, or even simply appearing on the podium with Renault’s disappointing R27 single seater in 2007.
“I expected to be going for the title this year and instead I will probably not even see the podium,” the Roman said in an extensive interview with Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The 34-year-old, who in 2005 and 2006 was teammate to Renault’s now departed dual world champion Fernando Alonso, said the current Enstone built racer was “born badly” and urged Renault to focus instead on next season.
“The aerodynamics are not right,” Fisichella explained. “From my perspective, it would be better to focus on 2008 so that we do not waste time working on a car that was born badly.”
He said the R27 initially looked good in the wind tunnel but turned into a “disaster” when it hit the actual winter test tracks.
“Now, in testing, we are going back to the drawing board because we clearly did some wrong things with the design,” Fisichella added.
“But at least we have started to understand our problems in the last few weeks. Like McLaren, we have run the car on the runway of an airport before this race.”
Indeed, Renault engineers have fitted a new front suspension layout to the R27 for the Spanish GP, in the hope that it will help the car to better integrate with the Bridgestone tyres.
Fisichella, though, said the improvement is “small” and reckons the real problem is the bodywork.
“We are going to have another really hard race — and to think that only last year we were dominant (at Barcelona),” he sighed.
However, Fisichella is refusing to lay the blame at Bridgestone’s door for the chronic lack of grip, however, by observing that BMW-Sauber and McLaren made successful transitions from the Michelin brand.
He concluded: “We, Renault, have done something wrong, the guilt is ours. We even thought about bringing back the 2006 car but with these tyres it still would have left us nowhere.”