Renault F1 Team President Patrick Faure discussed the Renault F1 Team's historic success in Bahrain on Sunday. Q: Patrick, what are your feelings after the team's third consecutive win? Race winner Fernando Alonso celebrates with...
Renault F1 Team President Patrick Faure discussed the Renault F1 Team's historic success in Bahrain on Sunday.
Q: Patrick, what are your feelings after the team's third consecutive win?
Patrick Faure: For the third race in a row, we have seen Fernando Alonso put in an outstanding performance. But this success is also down to the work of our major technical partners, notably Michelin and Elf who have responded masterfully to the challenge of the new regulations. We can only win if the team is at its maximum in all areas, and they have played a major role in this victory, alongside an exceptionally talented driver.
Q: This was an important result: Renault's hundredth ever Grand Prix win. What will be the reaction within the Renault Group?
PF: I think we may be giving ourselves a problem, because this kind of success will become a habit for them...! If we now go to Imola and finish second, there will be some disappointment, so I hope people will recognise how big an achievement these first races have been. I think also they will be proud: this was an historic win for Renault, number 100 in Formula 1, and we won the race in the right way, from the front.
Q: Giancarlo's fortunes contrasted with his team-mate -- how did you see the situation?
PF: Fisico was the victim of mechanical failure, but I am sure he had the ability to put in a drive like we saw from Fernando in Australia. But he is a strong driver, and will fight back strongly. The next race is on his home turf at Imola, and he will be extremely motivated to succeed; for the team, it is important that he does so.
Denis Chevrier collected the Renault F1 Team's winning constructor trophy on the Sakhir podium. He explains how that felt...
Q: Denis, you looked extremely proud to be on the podium yesterday; how did it feel up there?
Denis Chevrier: It was a great feeling, and especially when you have the kind of team spirit that we do here at Renault. This is a team with Renault tradition, stretching back thirty years at Viry, and a strong spirit that has grown between Viry and Enstone since 2002. Up on the podium, I felt very proud, not for myself but to be representing this group of people. It really brings home what it means to be a team member.
Q: What can you tell us about Giancarlo's retirement?
DC: We know that he encountered a problem in the top end of the engine, but we will only be able to analyse this in detail once the engine has been stripped. There is no doubt that his race was a technical failure for us -- but not necessarily a reason to be unduly concerned for the future. Our job is one of engineering to the limit and statistically, these kinds of incidents can happen.
The 2005 regulations are a big challenge, and the proof comes from the fact that an identical unit to the one that failed yesterday completed a full life cycle in the first two races with Giancarlo. These rules are a difficult exercise, and still involve technical risks, but we will be doing everything possible to ensure this failure is not repeated.
Q: Finally, how did you assess Fernando's performance?
DC: It was an extremely accomplished drive, with nothing left to chance. What we saw yesterday was not the same as a driver winning maybe one race in a season; in Bahrain, Fernando took pole, was fastest in both qualifying sessions, and backed up the promise with his race pace - just as he had done in Malaysia. Not only does he have the talent to be quick, but the ability to remain calm under pressure, and make intelligent decisions during the race. His performance was flawless.