Nelson Piquet says he has seen a dramatic improvement with the 2009 car since he first drove it. That the gremlins that stunted their testing have been addressed and there is are a lot more upgrades to make to this car. All of that sounds positive even for a young man that has been looked upon with a jaundiced eye given his performance, or lack of, last year.
Does that mean Renault will be fighting at the top of the grid? Nelson thinks so:
“You look at the screen and you think that Red Bull Racing are really quick,” he said. “But you know that McLaren and Ferrari are going to be quick because they are two top teams with the best budgets and the most people working on the car.
“But I don’t think we are going to be far off, if not fighting with them. I am really sure we will start the season in a much better situation than we started last year.”
He added: “For sure, I think it is going to be all quite tight. It is difficult to say as everyone looks quite good. Williams look good, Red Bull look amazing â€“ and Toro Rosso if it follows a similar car to Red Bull and they don’t have any problems they will be strong as well.
“So it is all very difficult to say at the moment. I am sure the big teams like Ferrari and McLaren will be there, and then there will be a big fight between BMW, us and the other teams.”
You can catch the rest of the interview at Autosport.
So one might consider that Nelson feels good about the cars potential…I think I’ll wait to get Fernando’s take on things before celebrating.