Renault's Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering, did not arrive in Silverstone with high hopes -- but the results exceeded expectations. Q: Pat, how pleased are you with (Sunday) afternoon's result? Pat Symonds: Our ambitions were not...
Renault's Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering, did not arrive in Silverstone with high hopes -- but the results exceeded expectations.
Q: Pat, how pleased are you with (Sunday) afternoon's result?
Pat Symonds: Our ambitions were not particularly high when we arrived here this weekend, after the recent test where we saw that McLaren were very competitive. However, we took the fight to them this weekend and came away with a very creditable result. We only missed out on the win by two seconds...
Q: Fernando came close to taking the lead at the final stops -- can you explain how you planned his strategy?
PS: I think the win was there to be had for Fernando, but we also had to counter the threat of Raikkonen. Had we fuelled Fernando too short at the first stop to counter Montoya, we would have exposed ourselves to possibly being overtaken by Raikkonen at the end of his second stint, and our priority was to keep Fernando ahead of Kimi, so we designed the strategy around this.
In actual fact, by running longer in his second stint, Fernando came very close to getting the win -- and indeed, had it not been for some traffic just before his second stop, would probably have emerged ahead of Montoya.
Q: What about Giancarlo's race? Once again, he was struck by a problem...
PS: Fisi had a very strong drive and put in some extremely competitive lap times to put himself in third position by the final stops -- and were it not for the problem at the pit-stop, he would definitely have finished there. Unfortunately, he lost time at the stop after the engine stalled, but we need to analyse the data further before we can say exactly what happened, and we are certainly not jumping to any conclusions.
Q: How did the tyres perform?
PS: They worked extremely well -- this is a very hard circuit for tyres, temperatures were high today, but we had no problems. Apparently this was Michelin's first win at this circuit, and it was good to see them dominate the race.
Q: Finally, what are your thoughts looking ahead to the next pair of races?
PS: I think we are looking very strong -- we have maintained our lead to McLaren in the last two races, and both of the next two circuits should suit us, although we are under no illusions that McLaren will be quick there too. Tyre management will be an important issue at these hot races, particularly in Hockenheim, and we will be paying special attention to our tyre selection in Jerez this week.