Tech 1 Racing has worked very hard preparing for the 2009 season on circuits like Jerez, Valencia and Barcelona. The Toulouse-based squad has a double mission: hold on to its teams' title and reconquer the drivers' one. To bring home the bacon...
Tech 1 Racing has worked very hard preparing for the 2009 season on circuits like Jerez, Valencia and Barcelona. The Toulouse-based squad has a double mission: hold on to its teams' title and reconquer the drivers' one. To bring home the bacon Simon Abadie and his men have put their trust in Charles Pic and Daniil Moove. A good season requires a perfect start, and that is what Tech 1 Racing will be hoping for when the cars line up in Barcelona in few days' time for the first race.
Teach 1 Racing has had a very busy winter. After the 2008 season that was crowned by a second teams' title on the trot, everybody has found an extra shot of motivation to move up a step in 2009. "We had a very heavy test programme during the off-season," explains Simon Abadie, the team manager. " At the end of last year we were in a position to fight for the teams' title so we were fairly conservative in our technical choices. This winter, we had to concentrate on the development of our cars and find more speed. We're happy with the work we've done."
Even if he has never really run in optimal conditions, Charles Pic has always been at the top end of the time sheets showing his determination and his ambitions for this coming season. During the collective tests he was the one to beat on the opening day: he set the quickest time on the first day in Jerez and did the same in Valencia. "All the time we tested with a heavy car equipped with a lot of sensors. One of our aims this season is to be on the pace in qualifying. It makes things a lot easier to start from pole and that also brings home the points. Our aim is four or five pole positions, and we've worked with that in mind. Setting the quickest time on the opening days as we've already done shows our quick-reaction capacity. We find the right set-up quickly, and we use new tyres well. It's all very positive."
Pic, selected this season for the Renault Driver Development programme, will team up with Daniil Moove from Russia who joined the team during the final two days' testing in Barcelona. Abadie reckons that Daniil will play an important role in the conquest of the teams' title. "Daniil knows the car and we know him a little as we've already worked with him in testing. He's come on board when things are already under way as he drove the car in Barcelona for the first time. His first day was a bit tricky as he wasn't very happy with the brake pump that we'd fitted on his car. Things went better on the second day but again he was out of luck as it rained! He's going to work on his fitness to be in the best shape possible. We're counting on our two drivers to bring home the points. If we're in a position to fight for the teams' title, it's obvious that we'll be in contention for the drivers' one as well."
Stability has been the watchword for the engineering team, and this has helped everybody progress and improve their efficiency. "We've moved up to another level," Simon reckons. "You can feel that in the organisation, in the work, in involvement and concentration; everybody's gained more experience. We're more mature and each member knows what he has to do. We're all young; we're moving forward together and we're always trying to improve. We have to stay awake and not fall asleep. Our rivals have honed their skills and they're out to beat us."
Charles Pic is one of the title favourites. The times have shown that quite a few drivers can win it, especially the first round in Barcelona where the Spanish contingent will be racing on home turf. "We have to bag a big haul of points in the first race. It we get off to a bad start, it's more difficult to close the gap. This season kicks off with three major events in a few weeks: Barcelona, Spa-Francorchamps and then Monaco. After Monaco, we'll have a fair idea as to who can be champion. We have to be among the front-runners, which is why it's so important to have done a good job in the six days' testing. The outcome of the season will hinge on very little. We can't afford to make any mistakes and we have to give our drivers the best cars possible."
Before the launch of the season on 17th April in Barcelona, the team will be hard at work in the workshops to finish preparing the two Formula Renault 3.5s. The cars will be completely dismantled to check the component one by one. The whole Tech 1 Racing squad is champing at the bit to be at the start of the first race of the season. "2009 will be an important year for us. Tech 1 Racing has the potential to keep on growing, and that means a double title in this year's Formula Renault 3.5 Series," is how Simon sums up the situation.
-credit: tech 1