Fabrice Lom is the engineer in charge of the Renault team at Red Bull Racing. He describes his Monaco weekend.
Q: Fabrice, what do you think of McLaren's domination in the Principality?
Fabrice Lom: Monaco is such an individual circuit that it's not worth speculating too much about the races to come. McLaren has always been very strong in Monaco. Last year, when the car wasn't really competitive on the more traditional circuits, it could have won here on this atypical layout. So we'll have to wait a little longer to see if last weekend's performance means the team's back on top.
Q: Were the Red Bull Racing cars far off the best?
FL: No, and that's encouraging. While the Monaco circuit did not really suit the RB3's characteristics -- in theory anyway -- both cars were very competitive. In qualifying they got into the top ten. Unfortunately, David Coulthard was disqualified from the final part of qualifying afterwards.
Q: How do you feel about last weekend?
FL: The words that spring to mind are "missed opportunity". We could have had a very good race and we left without any points. Mark had problems with an engine misfire out and that damaged his gearbox finally leading to his retirement. As for David, he was unable to shine as he started so far back on the grid. We saw it again this year; it's impossible to fight your way up through the field in the Principality even with a good car.
Q: On the engine side, what was the situation?
FL: Mark had a new engine while David's V8 was on its second Grand Prix.
Q: After Webber's retirement the regulations allow you to install a new engine for Montreal...
FL: Yes, but it's not certain that we'll change his V8. In fact, the problems that the RS27 ran into in Monaco are certainly electrical ones: the engine internals probably haven't suffered. This engine already has 200 kilometres on the clock and if it finishes in Canada, it'll reach 800 kms so it'll be at its best. If we opt for a new engine in Montreal, it'll have to do Indianapolis straight afterwards. Combining these two circuits into a single life-cycle is not the easiest thing to do where reliability's concerned.
Q: Speaking of reliability, what's the situation at Red Bull Racing?
FL: The team is making progress. You know it's always better to make a fast car reliable than to try and make a reliable car fast! The programmes are on going and we've got good reason to believe that these glitches will soon be a thing of the past. We're optimistic.