The Renault F1 Team's 2004 driver line-up (Fernando Alonso, Jarno Trulli, Franck Montagny) flew to Malindi at the end of last week. The aim was to hone their physical, and mental, preparation. The week of training has become something of a ...
The Renault F1 Team's 2004 driver line-up (Fernando Alonso, Jarno Trulli, Franck Montagny) flew to Malindi at the end of last week. The aim was to hone their physical, and mental, preparation.
The week of training has become something of a tradition. Every winter, the team's drivers gather at Flavio Briatore's home in Kenya. Physios Edoardo and Fabrizio also join the group. Under the Managing Director's watchful eye, they undergo various physical evaluations and take on some hard training: jogging, gym work, mountain biking, tennis and swimming.
"The conditions are usually excellent during this time of year, and that allows us to do some preparation in a perfect climate," admits Jarno. "Furthermore, Flavio's house -- Lion in the Sun -- is a nice place to stay. The week together is usually something to remember. Especially when the temperature is just 5°C in Europe!"
Fernando echoes his team-mate: "We are not just going through the motions when we train, that's for sure: the physios prepare a tough programme for us. However, we do get time to relax each day, when the temperatures get too high. That's when we can chill out a bit, and have some fun."
The week away from the usual context of work is also a good opportunity to reinforce already strong relationships. "During the season, you are always in between two meetings, or under the stress of the next race or deadline," explains Flavio Briatore.
"Here, we can take our time, talk about things and understand each other. All the drivers I have worked with have come here. It's a week of physical training, but also about giving the drivers confidence. This year, Franck Montagny is joining us for the first time. He will get to know the other drivers better, and that will make things easier in terms of fitting in to the team."
The return flight will come at the end of the week. The drivers will spend the festivities with their families, before once more donning helmet and overalls... for the first tests of the 2004 season.