Renault have admitted they are facing a dilema whether to keep improving this year’s car or shift the focus to development for next season. Pat Symonds:
“It is always difficult and the level of difficulty depends on two major factors – one is where you are sitting in the current championship, how threatened you are and what you can achieve. If you are in a solid third place and unlikely to get second but unlikely to drop to fourth, more or less as we were last year, you can think about turning your attention to the following year. If you are fighting, like we are doing this year, then you have got to keep the development.
There is nothing wrong with keeping the development going if it is all applicable to next year’s car, unfortunately this time there is very little that is applicable to next year’s car. Next year’s car is a very, very different animal, completely different aerodynamic rules, the KERS system, slick tyres – lot of things that will make it a very different car. So it is all the more important that we start early on it.
And it makes it a very hard for us to do. We are a big team but we are not big enough to handle two major projects and some of the people who are maybe struggling this year, for example Honda, are pushing a lot more effort into next year than we have been able to. We may see a little bit of a shake-up of the establishment next year.”
I must say, I do not understand what are Renault people even thinking about. What do they expect to happen to them this year ? They know their car is not competitive and although they may gain a place or two here and there, they are not going start winning races in normal race conditions. Does it really make that much difference for Renault to finish 4th or 5th or 6th or 7th this season ? Yes, there is difference in the prize money for the team, but this is something Vijay Mallya or Gerhard Berger need to worry about. Renault should look into way how to get out of their current 2 year slump. And the best opportunity for them is year 2009. They should be already focusing all their energy on 2009 season … If as Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn stated last weekend they are going to be on the grid for a long time, the short term results should not mean that much …
But who knows, may be they are focusing all their energy on 2009. Maybe the latest announced updates for Silverstone are something that next year’s car can also use. Maybe all this dilema talk is only a smokescreen.
Photo: ING Renault / LAT