Renault technical director James Allison has praised Robert Kubica's positive start since joining the team. The Pole had his first test for the Enstone, UK-based outfit at Valencia last week, and Allison is impressed with his technical feedback.
"We knew that Robert is a class act, and he was giving us very clear and good guidance in terms of setup direction," Allison told AUTOSPORT. "He worked very nicely with his race engineer and between them they made a lot of progress with the car, so that was very pleasing."
The team was also happy with Vitaly Petrov's early performances as an F1 driver. The Russian ran on the final day at Valencia, and is running on the first two days of the current Jerez test before Kubica takes the wheel for the final two days.
"He did a good job getting down to learn what is a new thing for him," said Allison. "He made steady and consistent progress through the day, giving some of the same feedback as Robert about aspects of the car. If he can keep that progress up, that will be good news."
Despite Kubica's best time being around a second off Alonso's fastest at the test, the team is confident about the Renault R30's performance.
"Were cautiously optimistic," added Allison. "Its incredibly hard to know in any year where you are, but its even harder to know when there is such a massive range of possible fuel options available. Whatever estimates you think you've made of your competitiveness at the first test, it is going to bear no resemblance to where you will be in race one. We know we've got a lot more to bring by then, and I'm sure other teams have, too."