Renault confident over future

New Renault technical director Bob Bell says Mike Gascoyne's departure for Toyota won't affect the team's preparations for 2004. Work on the R24 is on schedule, with the car projected to be finished in January.

Renault confident over future

"I am not worried in the least," said Bell. "If you look at the other top teams, the key thing in their performance is having people working in the same structure for a number of years.

"The structure we have in place at Renault will absorb the impact of any reshuffle. Internal promotions ensure we have continuity. I have every confidence in the system. The design 'handover' between us is now an established, smooth process.

"Becoming technical director is a great responsibility, but whenever Mike was away in the past, it was my responsibility to look after the technical side. So his departure hasn't really changed my life, except that now I'll be doing it full-time."

Bell thinks next year's car will not be a revolutionary step forward: "We have a very strong continuity between next year's car and the R23. The aerodynamic regulation changes for next year generate inherent losses in performance, so we don't expect the kind of spectacular gain we saw with this year's car. But it will represent a sensible step."

Renault's engine package will also be less revolutionary than of late, with a reduction to a more conventional vee-angle on the 2004 powerplant. A lack of power was arguably the team's biggest handicap in 2003.

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