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Last Updated: Monday, 7 February, 2005, 10:49 GMT
Moving on up

Renault R24
Nationality: French
Engine: Renault V10
Tyres: Michelin
Team principal: Flavio Briatore
Years in F1: 11
2003 position: 4th
Drivers' titles: 0
Constructors' titles: 0

After seriously troubling Ferrari, McLaren and Williams in 2003, Renault moved up a gear in 2004.

They fulfilled their aims of becoming one of the top three teams and won a race courtesy of Jarno Trulli's brilliant triumph in Monaco.

Renault were happy to finish third in the constructors' championship.

But there was a sense that they lost momentum as the season went on and Williams and McLaren recovered from poor starts to their campaigns.

For the first half of their season, Renault's quest was aided by two fast and evenly-matched drivers in the highly-rated Fernando Alonso and the much-improved Jarno Trulli.

In Alonso, who won his first Grand Prix in Hungary last year, they look to have a world champion in the making.

And Trulli, who has been criticised in the past for his poor race performances, upped his game to match his Spanish friend this season.

His strong form has seen him become the only man other than Michael Schumacher to win a race this season, with a brilliant victory in Monaco.

However, when it came time to negotiate a new contract, Trulli's form dropped off - coincidentally or otherwise - and relations soured to such an extent that he was dropped by team boss Flavio Briatore with three races to go.

This was clearly an error of judgement on Britatore's part - replacement Jacques Villeneuve struggled and that ended any slim hopes Renault had of stealing second place from BAR-Honda.

Few would dispute, however, that in Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella Briatore has a stronger line-up in 2005.

The team's challenge will be in ensuring that they have a car that can take them to the required next level - that of regular winners.

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Toro Rosso

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