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GP Week : Issue 37
> F1NEWS> Renault tech guru expects Fernando to win races in 2009 THE Renault F1 Team has confirmed to GPWeek that it will start the 2009 season with KERS units fitted to its all-new R29s. Executive Director of Engineering Pat Symonds told GPWeek that the system was now suitably reliable and granted the team a sufficient performance advantage to make its use worthwhile from the outset of a season which he claims could see the French team fighting not only for wins, but for the title. Symonds admitted that the initial period of learning with the new-for-2009 Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems had been trying for his engineers, but that a rapid turnaround at Christmas had changed the team’s outlook over its usability. “Prior to Christmas I would have said there was very little chance of us running it in Australia,”he confirmed, “and I really couldn’t have put a date on when we were going to run it, but over Christmas the major problems were solved very quickly one after the other in succession. And since we’ve had it on the car we’ve really had very little problem with it. “We will run it in Australia, I’m sure of that already. We believe obviously that it’s a positive performance advantage otherwise we wouldn’t be running it. Reliability we are happy with because a lot of the stuff was run on dynos and what- have-you before it went on the car. We’re certainly happy with safety and we’ve worked very hard on that so, all in all, I think it echoes the strength of some of the guys we’ve got here at Renault. “They took a brand new project, had to learn a lot of new technologies because there was no-one here who knew anything about high-powered electronics, and they’ve learned it and excelled with it I think.” Symonds also admitted that despite winter testing being harder than usual to gauge thanks to the massive regulation changes which have taken place since the end of the 2008 season, he was confident that 2009 would see Renault fighting not only for wins but for the Formula 1 World Championship, a view apparently shared by two-time world champ Fernando Alonso. “I think [fighting for the championship] is very, very realistic. The last couple of tests have been very, very encouraging. Winter testing is very difficult to read, probably more so this year than most because of odd things like McLaren running an old wing and who’s running KERS and who isn’t… all these additional variables that make it more difficult. “But I have to say I am confident with where we are, and there’s still more to come. I am genuinely, although the problem is everyone says this so it just sounds like bullshit doesn’t it, but I really, really believe that we are there and we will be fighting for the wins… and so does Fernando.” I’m confIdent wIth where we are. I really belIeve we wIll be fIghtIng for wIns, and so does fernando – PAT SYMONDS