Renault Ready to Overtake Bmw

By: Anthony Fontanelle

French automaker Renault may be in the same league as German automaker BMW in terms of popularity in the European auto market but in the current Formula One season, BMW has the upper hand as Renault is trying to catch up with the German-Swiss team.

BMW Sauber is currently third in the constructors' championship standing behind McLaren and Ferrari. Renault, on the other hand, is fourth on the standings and is eyeing the title of being the 'best of the rest'. Renault is last year's champion but is currently caught up in a contest with third place BMW Sauber.

While McLaren and Ferrari are caught up in a battle for the championship, BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica have been performing well to give the team enough points to stir clear of Renault. The French team, on the other hand, has started the season with dismal result. At the Canadian and United States Grands Prix, the French contingent stepped up their game to catch up with BMW Sauber.

Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella is confident that his team has what it takes to overtake BMW Sauber in the constructors' championship. Initially though, Renault has planned to retake the world championship it has won in 2005 and 2006, the team was forced to revise their plan. The plan now is for Renault to catch up with and overtake BMW Sauber.

At the two recent races though, BMW Sauber increased its lead over the French team. The German-Swiss Formula One team now has a 25 point lead over Renault. BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica made sure that their lead over Renault will increase as the Pole finished fourth at both the French and British Grands Prix. Nick Heidfeld, on the other hand, also performed well on board his F1.07 car with BMW engine and racing parts as reliable as BMW E39 parts.

"It is fair to say that the last two races were a bit disappointing, all the more so because they were our home races," said Fisichella. "We knew that it would be a tough battle with BMW: all of the teams are making progress, and our challenge is to do so faster than them in order to get ahead and try to close the gap in the Championship," he added.

Although they are behind BMW Sauber in points leading to the ninth race of the season, the European Grand Prix, Fisichella is confident that his team is moving in the right direction. "We are going in the right direction, and everybody is doing their maximum," said the Italian Formula One driver. "I am convinced that if we carry on like this, our hard work will pay off."

Renault's technical director Bob Bell is in agreement with Fisichella. "The target is clear: to continue closing the gap to BMW on track, and to begin doing so in the Championship," said Bell.

"If you look back to the opening races of the year, it was as if we were in a different race to them. Now, we are regularly qualifying in the top ten, and according to the type of circuit, racing with our direct rivals."

"Giancarlo and Heikki are both pushing very hard and getting the maximum from the car. They now need more performance to fight on equal terms with BMW," Bell said.

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