• Turkish Grand Prix

Renault plans upgrades to remain in the hunt

ESPNF1 Staff
April 29, 2011 « 'I'm not a fan of the DRS' - Heidfeld | »
Renault's R31s will have new front wings for the Turkish Grand Prix © Getty Images
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Renault is planning a raft of upgrades for the Turkish Grand Prix to remain in the hunt for podiums and bounce back from a disappointing result in China.

The innovative R31 took top-three finishes on its first two outings this season, but a problem on Vitaly Petrov's car in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix meant he failed to take his place in Q3 and team-mate Nick Heidfeld had one of his flying laps compromised as a result. The team then struggled to recover on Sunday and took just two points with a ninth place finish for Petrov.

Team boss Eric Boullier believes the car will back on the pace in Turkey where it will benefit from a different front wing, modifications to the nose, updates to the air intake area and some tweaks to the floor.

"We have a good upgrade package coming for Turkey," Boullier said. "I think that historically the teams were preparing to introduce their development packages for Europe, but I think that in the last couple of years the development race is continuous and this competition has already started. Teams have already been bringing new packages in Malaysia and China. Still, the first race in Europe remains significant in terms of improvements that teams will bring and this will be clear again this year."

Technical director James Allison said there is no reason why Renault should be any less competitive at the upcoming Turkish Grand Prix.

"It's a fairly regular type of track, not especially dissimilar to Malaysia and China I would hope that we can continue compete at a high level." Talking in general about the R31, he added: "[The car is] sufficiently fast to be healthily-placed in the top ten in qualifying, which gives you half a chance come Sunday. The car also quite kind on its tyres and so it tends to run more strongly in races than it does in qualifying. I don't want to tempt providence, but it has also been reasonably reliable so far."

And Boullier believes his drivers are highly motivated to score results.

"I think that they can do even better," he added. "During the last three races, they were still getting to know the car and they showed good pace and results. I'm pretty sure that they now have the near-to-victory taste in their mouths so they need to keep on pushing. I know the team is absolutely 100% behind both of them to help pushing them to deliver."

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