Renault Wary of BAR Threat

World Championship leaders Renault fear that their title hopes could be hit by the growing competitiveness of rivals BAR-Honda

Although Fernando Alonso enjoys a 24-point advantage over Kimi Raikkonen, the current dominant form of McLaren means that Renault have to focus on not losing any more points than necessary at each race.

Alonso can afford to finish third behind Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya in all the remaining races this year to still clinch the Championship - but his Renault team now fear that BAR could stop them even achieving that target.

Renault's technical director Bob Bell told this week's Autosport: "They (BAR) could affect the outcome of the Championship for sure. They are close enough that they could easily be involved.

"We have full control over what we do, but what we can't affect is what anyone else does. But we will continue to push as hard as we possibly can to maintain the gap."

Pat Symonds, Renault's director of engineering, said: "What would be a disaster for us is if other drivers get in between Raikkonen and Fernando.

"Michael (Schumacher) did in Hungary and Jenson was very quick in Turkey. BAR had a very competitive race and we cannot ignore that."

Renault's fear about other teams getting involved in the World Championship are of no concern to BAR, however, who would be proud to ensure the title fight goes all the way to the wire.

Race engineer Jock Clear said: "We've seen in Hungary and Turkey that we have the pace to keep with Renault. I hope we do interfere with the title battle - not because I favour Kimi over Alonso, but because we might get the battle to go to the end, which would be good for F1."

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