Renault not expecting to fight for podium

Key figures within the Renault F1 team believe that the R23 may struggle to be as competitive as it has been in some of this years races at this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix. The Montreal circuit's characteristics are not likely to suit the under-powered French chassis

Renault not expecting to fight for podium

Technical director Mike Gascoyne and executive director of engineering Pat Symonds both reckon that the current package available to Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli probably won't be capable of fighting for podium places.

"Montreal has a lot in common with Imola, where we were not very competitive," said Gascoyne. "So we're expecting the same from this circuit. But we should be able to find a good aerodynamic set-up that'll allow us to fight with our immediate rivals. It'll be harder to get on the podium here than elsewhere, but we nevertheless think we'll have what it takes to get a good result."

Symonds agrees: "The Williams and McLarens were more competitive than our cars [in Monaco], so we need to work hard to make up the ground and Montreal isn't going to make the task any easier. You have to accelerate hard out of the chicanes, and despite the improvements we made in Austria, this is still an area where we have work to do."

Alonso, who lies third in the drivers' championship behind Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher, is eager to keep up his points momentum up after a relatively disappointing Monaco GP in which he finished fifth. "I'm looking forward to this race: I feel calm but at the same time, determined," said the Spaniard. "I'm lying in third place in the drivers' championship and I'll do what it takes to stay there or do better.

"It's likely to be a tough weekend because the track doesn't really suit our chassis and engine, but I'm confident I'll do well."

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