Renault tech debrief with Bell

2003 Season, Technical Debrief with Bob Bell The Renault F1 Team's Technical Director may have been out of the spotlight in the design office last year, but his team was working hard: the verdict from 2003 is extremely positive, and means the...

2003 Season, Technical Debrief with Bob Bell

The Renault F1 Team's Technical Director may have been out of the spotlight in the design office last year, but his team was working hard: the verdict from 2003 is extremely positive, and means the team is confident for 2004.

Q: Did the R23 meet expectations?

Renault F1 technical director Bob Bell.
Photo by LAT Photographic.
Bob Bell: Yes. The results we achieved in 2003 actually exceeded expectations. We were very pleased with the car's performance: it was quick on many different types of circuit. Generally, the R23 was reliable as well. Before the start of the season, we had some worries about the engine, but both cars reached the finish at Melbourne. What's more, the pace of development at Viry during the second half of the season was very good.

Q: Did the new bodywork package introduced at Silverstone boost performance?

BB: It was a useful step, but we actually had new developments on the car at every race. The 'B' version was noticed in particular because it included more than eighty new component and brought a noticeable improvement in lap time but our intention throughout the season was to keep the car in continuous development. Furthermore, we did a good job in the management of our tyre development programme: it's not the most glamorous of things, but is a key factor in performance. No matter how good your car is, it can't demonstrate it without suitable tyres.

Q: What was the mood at Enstone throughout the year?

BB: Everybody here was extremely motivated after the early successes we had. We all gave 100% to maintain a high rate of progress.

Q: As you have said, everybody worked 100% in 2003. What benefits will that bring for next season?

BB: For 2004, we cannot accept any weaknesses in any area. If we want to compete for the world championship in the future, that is the philosophy we need to adopt. Everybody has always worked to their maximum, and they know they will have to continue to do so in the future: our performance depends upon every individual's work.

Q: Was it easy to stay motivated during the championship?

BB: It was pretty easy to maintain our motivation this year: everybody knew we were making progress and that we were competitive. Next year will be tougher, and our expectations will be higher: we are going to have to push even harder.

Q: How would you describe the relationship between Enstone and Viry?

BB: The relationship is improving day by day. We work very closely, and that brought very positive benefits in 2003: the two sites have never been better integrated than now. The way we work at the track has also improved. The progress in these areas will be even more visible on the R24, and its successor the R25.

Q: Is that why the prospect of a new engine concept next year holds no worries?

BB: It won't cause us any problems at all. We have learned a lot about integration with the wide-angle engines, and these lessons will all be adopted on the R24.

Q: As a Formula 1 fan, what did you think of this year's championship?

BB: I think 2003 was a fantastic season for the spectators, with some extremely exciting races. Especially so because a 100% Renault car won its first race for twenty years. That demonstrated that we are a force to be reckoned with in the future: our win didn't owe anything to chance, and we could have done it again a number of times this year. That was primarily down to the quality of our team: it's a real source of satisfaction.

-renault-

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Series Formula 1
Teams Renault F1 Team