The Renault F1 Team test driver is feeling positive: as soon as it turned a wheel this weekend, the R23 seemed suited to Sepang. After locking out the front row in qualifying, the Team now has to perform on Sunday. "To be honest, I didn't expect...
The Renault F1 Team test driver is feeling positive: as soon as it turned a wheel this weekend, the R23 seemed suited to Sepang. After locking out the front row in qualifying, the Team now has to perform on Sunday.
"To be honest, I didn't expect this kind of result today," said Allan. "I knew the car would be very competitive, but I expected a 5th or 6th place for the guys in qualifying. But having said that, if you have the opportunity to take the front row, you don't argue about it!"
"As soon as we started running on Friday, I knew that the R23 would suit Sepang. In actual fact, my first run on a dry track was quicker than qualifying last year! On parts of the circuit that I was taking in fourth gear in 2002, I was in fifth gear this year; in places where I used to have to touch the brakes, I was flat out. Promising stuff!"
"The qualifying session today was pretty fun," he continued. "At the start, all the cars that went out ahead of Fernando were slower than expected. Then the first Renault went out on the circuit, and set the best time by more than a second. Jarno followed in his wheeltracks. After that, nobody could do any better: Kimi Raikkonen made a mistake, David Coulthard was fairly cautious, Barrichello made an error in Turn 14 and even Michael Schumacher couldn't improve. One of our strengths is having a car which copes well with all three different sectors on the circuit, while the others seem to be quite inconsistent from one to another. Having said that, it was sectors two and three where we could really make the difference. I think Michelin have an advantage over Bridgestone this weekend as well."
"What should we expect for the race? Obviously, starting from the front row means that we have good reason to be optimistic. In terms of strategy, we know we have made the right choices. Some of the other teams have certainly decided to go for a one-stopper, which is pretty brave: at least one of the McLarens, and the Ferraris, could be trying that. It's too early to start talking about wins or one-twos for Renault on Sunday, but I think we will be very strong in the races ahead. That's the important thing in terms of the championship."