Contradicting media reports, Renault technical director Bob Bell insists the French team is on course to record a strong start to the 2009 season next month.

Contradicting media reports, Renault technical director Bob Bell insists the French team is on course to record a strong start to the 2009 season next month.

With the R29 regularly observed at the bottom of winter testing timesheets, it has been suggested that Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet Jr could be set for a frustrating campaign with the new car.

But in an interview conducted and distributed by the Enstone based team, Bell said he is "becoming increasingly more satisfied" with the uniquely-shaped single seater.

His comments were made as Alonso finally moved onto the pace of the other 2009 cars, while at the same time putting in more laps than usual, at the close of the Jerez test last Friday.

Admitting that the early miles of the R29 were not impressive, Bell insists that engineers "put a lot of things right" in Spain.

Speaking with the Spanish press at Jerez, 27-year-old Alonso had a similar message, concluding that "we are definitely going in the right direction".

"Every time (I am in the car) it is more manageable and easier to drive," he is quoted as saying by the sports daily Marca.

Bell continued: "From what we've seen in Jerez, I don't feel there are any fundamental problems with the car: it's well balanced and is responding well to changes.

"We're lacking a bit of grip, which is the same for everybody, but that will improve as we fit new parts to the car and continue our development up to the first race," he added.

 

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