Renault pace shocks pit-lane

Renault delivered a shock warning to its rivals when the new R25 blitzed its new car opposition during testing at Valencia in Spain on Wednesday - and Giancarlo Fisichella confessed to autosport.com that the team was 'much more competitive' than its opposition

Renault pace shocks pit-lane

Despite suffering two mechanical problems, an engine failure for Fernando Alonso and a clutch drama for Fisichella, Renault's pace and consistency during its long runs left the pit-lane in no doubt that the French manufacturer was well on target for a strong 2005 campaign.

Although outpaced by Alex Wurz in the 2004 McLaren, Alonso's best lap of 1minute 09.992 seconds was less than one second off the unofficial lap record, and just eight tenths off the best time set so far this year by David Coulthard in the 2004 Jaguar-based Red Bull Racing car.

BAR test driver Anthony Davidson, driving the new BAR007, admitted that he had trouble keeping up with the R25 when they were together on the track - and he was left further disappointed later on when he found the Renault was on long-runs and not low fuel settings to go for quick laps.

"Bloody hell they are so fast," Davidson told autosport.com. "I couldn't keep up with them. I thought they were in the low fuel zone but in fact they were doing 25 lap runs."

Fisichella was delighted with the Renault's performance during the day - and already appears to have justified bold predictions at the car's launch in Monaco on Tuesday that the outfit was looking to win multiple races and have a shout at world championship glory.

Speaking to autosport.com, Fisichella said: "We are going fast! I can tell you that we are much more competitive than the others at the moment.

"We can go into 1m10s in the first few laps of a run and then we stay at the 1m11s level. This is a good car.

"Obviously after a few laps the tyres slide but with this year's regulations this is normal. The engine is good too. There is much more power. In the mid and high revs it is a lot better than last year and at low revs it's very similar to what we had last year."

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