Renault test driver Allan McNish and technical director Mike Gascoyne talked about some of the new regulations for this season in a television discussion aired today and are looking forward to see how things will work out. For McNish, Renault ...
Renault test driver Allan McNish and technical director Mike Gascoyne talked about some of the new regulations for this season in a television discussion aired today and are looking forward to see how things will work out.
For McNish, Renault taking up the Friday testing option is obviously significant: "We've got restricted testing through the year," he said. "So we have to make sure we get things one hundred percent right on that Friday."
Gacoyne's view was much the same: "In effect we only have two and a half hours before qualifying (to prepare) and teams that have more people can change more things."
With the new qualifying system, McNish thinks there will be some unexpected grid line-ups: "It won't necessarily change winners and losers," the diminutive Scot commented. "But there will be some oddball situations with qualifying when someone didn't get it right and will have to fight their way through the grid."
As a technical director, the no refueling regulation is one that Gascoyne is mulling over: "Obviously last year we qualified with minimum fuel," he said. "Now you're going to have to carry fuel until the first stop in the race."
"Before, the quickest car on pole, in a one stop race, full of fuel would probably win. Now pit stops will have to be rethought and fuel strategy could mean the best car may be tenth on the grid in qualifying."
Renault opted to start this season with a new car, although Gascoyne can appreciate the option of beginning with an improved version of a previous car, as Ferrari and McLaren intend to do: "Reliability early on can make sure you get some points," he said of starting with a proven successful car. "And it gives you more development time (on the new car). We launched early but we have worked hard in testing so hopefully we can be competitive."
Commenting on the argumentative situation at BAR between former Renault driver Jenson Button and team mate Jacques Villeneuve, Gascoyne said: "Jenson is a very nice guy and he's had two very fast team mates but two very unpolitical team mates. It will be interesting to see what happens (between him and Villeneuve)."
Fernando Alonso replaces Button at Renault this year and Gascoyne think the young Spaniard will be competitive: "Fernando is a very quick driver, at Minardi he was very mature and a very likeable young man. I think he's going to do well."