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Renault: We are within one percent of Ferrari

  • Story Highlights
  • Renault believe they are within 'one percent' of the leading team Ferrari
  • Alonso says they are planning 'aggressive' development to bridge the gap
  • BMW and Honda also plan new developments to catch the Scuderia
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By Glen Scanlon
For CNN
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Renault believe they are within "one percent" of Ferrari and are aggressively developing their car for the Turkish Grand Prix.

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Fernando Alonso has a lot more confidence in Renault's pace after the Spanish Grand Prix.

Both the French team's cars failed to finish the Spanish Grand Prix, but Fernando Alonso qualified on the front of the grid for the first time and they looked much more competitive than in the southern hemisphere races.

Pat Symonds, Renault's executive director of engineering, said they were racing a lot closer to the front in Barcelona.

"We need to start scoring points again and if we had not shown the potential we did in Spain, then I don't think we would know how we were going to get those points."

"Aerodynamic efficiency pays dividends at nearly every track, and so there is no reason to believe that we will not be in a similar position in Istanbul. I firmly believe that we are within one percent of the leading team now, which is a big improvement from where we were at the beginning of the season."

Symonds said they would be introducing further aero upgrades in time for Turkey.

Alonso said Spain was a missed opportunity but the "performance was there."

"We showed good pace and I believe that this is what we should take from the weekend.

"It was clear from the beginning of the weekend that we had made progress in Barcelona and I said that this was thanks to the efforts of the whole team who have worked very hard in the last few weeks to get us closer to the leading pace."

Alonso said it was only the first step.

"We will have an aggressive approach for the races to come with further new developments. I know it will not be easy, but I am sure that we will now be able to have some exciting races, and as a driver I want this more than anything."

Elsewhere, everyone is looking to get more from their cars.

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport's director, said their targets for the Turkish Grand Prix were clear.

"We want to consolidate our position among the leaders, where Ferrari are currently the yardstick. For the fifth race of the season we will be making detail improvements to the F1.08 again."

Willy Rampf, BMW's technical director, agreed that Ferrari still had the advantage.

"McLaren and BMW are practically on a par. It's so close that the slightest modification could swing the pendulum either way. That's why we are pushing our development forward at full speed."

Honda team principal Ross Brawn said they were also planning some "small refinements."

"I am expecting the RA108 to perform slightly better around Istanbul Park than in Barcelona, where we suffered with ride quality over the bumpy surface, so I believe we can look forward to challenging for the top 10 in qualifying and hopefully scoring points again."

Honda's Jenson Button said the upgrade for the Spanish Grand Prix definitely improved the team's performance and the car continued to improve.

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Meanwhile, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton said it would be vital to qualify well in Turkey despite their being chances to overtake.

"The balance of the car felt good in Spain, and this is really the key in Turkey because of the high speed corners. You need to have a stable balance to be quick through them." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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