Renault is not about to slip into cruise control and coast to the 2006 titles, according to Pat Symonds.
The French-owned team’s engineering director was quoted as telling ‘RTL’ in Germany that the blue and yellow camp is feeling bullish after speeding into a dominant position in 2006.
”Last year our attitude became more reserved,” he said, ”because we could see that McLaren were potentially quicker than us.”
2006, though, is different.
Early season tussles with McLaren, Ferrari and Honda dissipated into the Silverstone situation; where Fernando Alonso strolled basically unchallenged to an easy win.
Alonso insisted after winning the British grand prix that ‘attack’ would be the ‘best defence’ for the balance of the current season.
”I absolutely agree,” Symonds went on.
As ever, Renault’s flamboyant team principal, Flavio Briatore, is more haughty than Briton Symonds.
The Italian told Gazzetta dello Sport: ”If Ferrari do not get a tyre advantage, then they will not catch us up.”
The next two races, however, have the potential to spoil Renault’s run of governance. The high-speed Montreal and Indianapolis are expected to suit Ferrari’s impressive engine, and they are two of the only tracks on which Alonso has never stood on the podium.
Last year, he crashed in Montreal.
But Briatore insisted: ”We are not afraid of anybody.”