Apr.7 (GMM) Fernando Alonso on Sunday admitted that he thinks Renault is now the eighth slowest team on the grid.
"We are no longer only behind Ferrari, McLaren and BMW. Ahead of us as well are Toyota, Williams, Red Bull and Honda," the Spaniard is quoted as saying by the news agency EFE.The Anglo-French team, that in 2005 and 2006 won the world championships with Alonso at the wheel, is planning a major update for the R28 single seater, to debut at the upcoming Barcelona test, and the subsequent Spanish grand prix in three weeks.The improvements relate to bodywork and front suspension, and Alonso insists that if Renault does not take a step forward, he will begin to regard the 2008 season as a write off."Right now it is our only hope. We really need it to work for us, otherwise you could say that Fisichella made the better move (for 2008)," he said.Alonso totally ruled out team boss Flavio Briatore's claim that the Barcelona improvements should move the R28 into podium contention."That's impossible," the 26-year-old responded, "because we need to find one second (per lap). That has never been done in the history of any team."This is not what we are hoping for, anyway. For now, the podium is a fantasy, a dream."What we are looking to do now is to get on to the level of Toyota, for example -- to easily go into Q2 and Q3 and then race to be behind the top three teams," Alonso said.To the Spanish newspaper Diario AS, even Renault's Pat Symonds took issue with Briatore's plans for a Barcelona podium."That is a very ambitious goal," he smiled.