Renault 'in Good Shape for Monaco'

Formula One leaders Renault believe they are looking good for next week's glamour Monaco Grand Prix even though McLaren ended their four-race winning streak in Spain on Sunday

Renault 'in Good Shape for Monaco'

"It's great that somebody else is winning as well," said team head Flavio Briatore after Kimi Raikkonen beat Renault's Championship frontrunner Fernando Alonso into second place at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Spaniard Alonso had won the last three races while Italian Giancarlo Fisichella triumphed in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix for Renault.

"We can't race on our own, it's good to have competition," said Briatore."I am very happy for the team because I think McLaren need a victory and maybe Ferrari need a victory as well next time."

Champions Ferrari have now gone six races without success, their longest drought since the start of the Michael Schumacher era in 1996.

Renault won the Monaco Grand Prix last year with Italian Jarno Trulli, now with Toyota and Alonso's closest Championship rival.

The race is the social highlight of the calendar and, with a huge global television audience, one that the French carmaker wants to win more than any other.

However with overtaking extremely difficult on the tight and twisty Mediterranean street circuit, a good grid position is essential.

With the results of Sunday's race determining the start order for first qualifying in Monaco, Briatore was clearly satisfied.

Fisichella finished fifth, setting the fastest lap after the setback of an unscheduled pitstop to change a front wing and clear debris from underneath the car.

He had run briefly ahead of Alonso in second place before that problem.

"Fisichella did a very good job. we collected 12 points, the same as McLaren while Ferrari had none," said Briatore. "Every point counts towards the Championship.

"To have Fernando and Fisichella qualify at the end (of the first session in Monaco) is very important.

"In Monte Carlo the first 10 or 15 people to go out have trouble because the circuit gets quicker and quicker. We are in good shape for Monte Carlo next week."

Renault lead the Constructors' Championship with 58 points to Toyota's 40 and McLaren's 37.

Alonso has 44 to Trulli's 26 and Raikkonen's 17.

 

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Series Formula 1
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Alan Baldwin
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