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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 April 2006, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Renault boss slates Honda errors
San Marino Grand Prix, 23 April, 1300 BST

Renault engineering director Pat Symonds
There is no room for error on any front in F1
Pat Symonds
Renault engineering director
Renault boss Pat Symonds has criticised rivals Honda for failing to make the most of a competitive car this season.

Renault have won all three races so far while Honda's Jenson Button has lagged behind despite strong qualifying form.

Renault engineering director Symonds said: "Honda have made three incorrect tyre decisions in the opening races.

"You can have the best car but if you use the wrong tyres, it is not going to win. If I had done the same, I would probably be looking for another job."

Symonds said Renault avoided similar errors through "procedures and discipline".

"There is no room for error on any front in F1," he told the Daily Telegraph newspaper,

"Honda have a car-and-driver combination that is very quick in qualifying but not quite so well-conditioned for the race. That is what we saw during the winter. Headline times were good but not quite so impressive on long runs.

Jenson Button's Honda at the San Marino Grand Prix
Button needs a strong result at Imola to keep his title chances alive

"It is an indication of how differing operating procedures come into it.

"It is surprising, particularly as there is far more co-operation on tyre testing this year, much more visibility of others' test results. I don't know if it shows a certain arrogance or what?"

He added that Honda's mistakes were all the more difficult to understand because they were one of the teams permitted to use a third car during Friday practice at Grands Prix.

This enables teams to use a reserve driver to do lots of laps evaluating tyres, a luxury not available to the race drivers, who have to save tyres to ensure they have the optimum tactics in the race.

The teams who finished in the top four last year are not allowed to run a third driver.

Symonds said: "What surprises me is that Honda have a distinct advantage with a third car. I accept they have had some problems, but the advantage of that third car is enormous.

"I would trade most of our in-season testing for the ability to run a third car at races."

With just three races gone, Renault driver Fernando Alonso leads the world championship by 14 points from team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella.

Button is fifth, 17 points behind Alonso.

Button concerned by tyre problems
02 Apr 06 |  Formula One
Alonso expects charge from rivals
02 Apr 06 |  Formula One
Alonso puts Button in his place
02 Apr 06 |  Formula One
Button dismayed by Renault speed
19 Mar 06 |  Formula One
Button regrets start-line glitch
12 Mar 06 |  Formula One
Fisichella leads Renault one-two
19 Mar 06 |  Formula One
Alonso beats Schumacher in opener
12 Mar 06 |  Formula One


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