Alonso downbeat on Renault progress

Fernando Alonso has told the Spanish press that although modifications to the Renault R28 have improved the car, otheer teams have also made progress in recent weeks and that it is not likely that the team will he able to emerge from the midfield group. The car features much modified aerodynamics.

"I am happy with the changes," Alonso told Diario AS, "but we must continue to improve because others have made progress. It is difficult to say where we are in comparison to them. I do not know until the next week."

Alonso said that he did not think that enough progress had been made to get the team out of the midfield group, which includes Williams, Red Bull, Toyota and Honda. "We are more or less where we were before the testing. We are in the group in which if all goes well you can qualify eighth but if you have trouble then you can be 14th and outside the top 10."

Alonso tried out the slick tyres that Bridgestone is now developing for 2009. These give a gain of around three seconds a lap with the 2008 aerodynamic settings but with 2009 set-ups the lap times will increase.

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