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F1 NEWS 

Boullier: Monza will show if progress due to upgrades or driver swap

Bruno Senna, Renault, Spa 2011Renault boss Eric Boullier believes this weekend's Italian Grand Prix will show whether his team's step forward in form at Spa was the result of improvements to its car or the shake-up in its driver line-up.

The Enstone-based team delivered a morale-boosting performance in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix - with it getting both its drivers through to Q3 for the first time since the Canadian Grand Prix in June.

Although it endured a more disappointing time in the race, after Bruno Senna made a mistake at the first corner and collided with Jaime Alguersuari, the team is hoping that its good form will be carried through to Monza - as recent car upgrades start to deliver better speed.

"It's difficult to draw too much from one race alone, whether that's in terms of who is in the race seat or the effect of the upgrade package," he told Renault's official website on Monday. "But Monza should give us a clearer indication as to how things are going.

"Monza is always a difficult track because it requires a low downforce set-up; it has high speed corners and high speed straights. After the steps we made in Spa, I'm confident we will have a progressive weekend in Italy too."

Although the Belgian GP did not deliver the points on Sunday that Renault had hoped for, as it lost further ground to rival Mercedes GP in the constructors' championship, Boullier added that there were other elements of the weekend that were hugely positive for his team.

"Sportingly, it could have been a better weekend because we had one car in the low points and the other not scoring any which is not sufficient," he said. "However, all in all it was a good weekend; we had a very respectable qualifying session and Bruno stepped into the cockpit successfully. These aspects were quite promising; it was encouraging for the team to be able to see the cars delivering and their work bearing fruit."

He added: "I think the positive energy really came about after qualifying because everyone knows it is extremely challenging for a new driver to step in. Seeing the team applauding the drivers after Q2 and Q3 was a good sign; I was very happy to see that, and it was pleasing to see smiles back on everyone's faces."

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