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'Smooth' Korean circuit will suit exhaust - Renault

ESPNF1 Staff
October 10, 2011 « Red Bull not taking constructors' title for granted | Perez targets Force India as Sauber upgrades pay off »
Renault is now targeting fifth in the championship and an improved performance in 2012 © Sutton Images
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After an improved performance at the Japanese Grand Prix, Renault believes the Korean International Circuit, hosting the next round of the championship this weekend, could yield even better results.

Renault struggled to its worst performance of the season at the Singapore Grand Prix on the tight and twisty Marina Bay circuit two weeks ago, but returned to form at Suzuka last weekend with a ninth-place finish for Vitaly Petrov.

The key factor behind the R31's fluctuation in form has been its unique front-exiting exhaust system, which is designed to generate extra downforce by energising the flow of air under the car. Technical director James Allison believes Korea could offer the best opportunity yet to maximise the floor's performance, as the smooth track surface and low kerbs allow the team to run a lower ride height.

"The Korean International Circuit is not a track which favours any particular aspect of the car; it's one where the entire package has to be maximised," Allison told the team's official website. "Interestingly, the track surface is very smooth and there are no notable bumps. Ally this with no kerbs of any stature and you can run the car very low. This could play to the strengths of our exhaust package as the potentially more constant proximity between car floor and ground should aid and assist hot air flow management."

Team principal Eric Boullier said the team's focus has now shifted to 2012, while retaining fifth place in the constructors' championship remains the main target for rest of this season.

"Frankly speaking, a lot of my thoughts have now turned to next year," he said. "Whilst the priority remains securing fifth place in the constructors' championship and helping nurture Bruno [Senna] and Vitaly's opportunities to score highly at the next four races, an increasing amount of my time is devoted to seeing how we can raise the bar.

"In many ways, 2011 has been a transitional year for us with a whole range of changes. However, sport throws up many difficulties and it is a test of character as to how one handles them. I like to think we have dealt with things in the right manner and that there will be brighter times ahead. Make no mistake, this team's number one goal is to bring silverware back to Enstone."