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F1 NEWS 

Renault confident of more progress

Robert Kubica, Renault, Malaysian GPRenault's chief race engineer Alan Permane is confident the French squad will take another step forward in the Chinese Grand Prix next week.

Renault has been one of the surprises of the start of the season, having fought near the top of the field and securing a second place thanks to Robert Kubica in the Australian Grand Prix.

Permane reckons the team can continue with its progression in the third round of the championship in Shanghai thanks to its wind tunnel work.

"We have a very good wind tunnel, which was upgraded over the winter; we've done good correlation work between the tunnel and the track; and we trust what the tunnel tells us," said Permane.

"Our aero department is performing better than ever and they're finding very good gains at the moment. Downforce levels are increasing almost on a daily basis and we should have another good step forward in China."

Permane concedes, however, that things are likely to be more difficult for the team in China, especially if the temperatures are cooler.

"More of the same, hopefully," said Permane on what he is expecting in China. "However, Shanghai will be the opposite of Sepang in terms of temperatures - it's something like 13 or 14 degrees Celsius over there - yet we'll be running the same tyre compounds as we did in Malaysia.

"The challenge will be to get the hard compound working, especially because the long straight means that you can't simply add downforce to get the tyres working because it costs you too much straightline speed.

"In Melbourne, we had a suspicion that the car wasn't quite as competitive in cold conditions, so we'll be working hard to avoid a similar problem in Shanghai."

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