Mike Gascoyne, Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport Technical Director: PREPARATION Malaysia was obviously a tough race with the high temperatures, but we were pleased in general with the reliability of the cars which was a step forward from ...
Mike Gascoyne, Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport Technical Director:
Malaysia was obviously a tough race with the high temperatures, but we were pleased in general with the reliability of the cars which was a step forward from Australia, the first race of the season. We have been testing in Barcelona for four days this week. Mark Webber drove the B200 working on tyre work and electronic systems, whilst Jenson and Giancarlo ran in the B201 looking at performance work. We tested a new bodywork package with several major updates and this will be incorporated on the cars in Brazil. The new aero package gave us positive results in testing and so we hope it will help us improve our performance in comparison to our competitors.it Pat Symonds, Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport Director of Engineering:
"The Interlagos circuit is challenging for both drivers and engineers. >From a drivers point of view it is further a race in reasonably hot and humid conditions and the fact that it is an anti-clockwise circuit, which puts a strain on the drivers back and neck muscles, generally makes this one of the toughest circuits for drivers to handle. The track offers some overtaking opportunities both into turn 4 at the end of the back straight and particularly into turn 1 at the end of the pit straight where many good overtaking manoeuvres have been seen in previous years. The engineers need to cope with a number of different challenging corners and the cars need to be set up to use the curves well in the low speed corners and also ride the bumps which, although less than in previous years, can cause problems. The possibility of heavy rain is always present in Brazil and can be similar to that seen in Malaysia last week with little warning and very heavy downpours, over the years this has led to some exciting races. Last year this was a good race for both our drivers with Giancarlo qualifying fifth and finishing second in the race and Jenson, in only his second race, qualifying ninth and gaining his first point.
Giancarlo Fisichella describes a lap of the Interlagos circuit in Brazil:
Having passed the start/finish line I will reach around 310km/hr at the end of the pit straight before braking hard for the very difficult 1 st corner which drops away and is taken in 2 nd gear at around 105 km/hr. This is immediately followed by a right-hand corner. I will shift up to 3 rd gear and take the corner at around 155 km/hr, having to use part throttle to balance the car. The long sweeping left-hand corner that leads on to the back straight is taken flat starting in 3 rd gear at around 200 km/hr and exiting in 5 th gear at over 250 km/hr. On the back straight I will achieve a similar speed to the pit straight and the actual point of maximum speed will depend on the wind but typically we will again reach 310km/hr before braking for turn 4 which is taken in 3 rd gear at 135 km/hr. The left-hand corner immediately leads into a 2 nd part which is taken in 4 th gear at around 240km/hr.
A 5 th gear straight, where I will reach 285 km/hr, leads into a complex of corners, the first part of which is taken in 4 th gear at around 200km/hr. This long right hand corner requires a very fine balance of the throttle not to upset the car on the entry to turn 7 which is a very slow tight right hand corner taken in 1 st gear at just over 70 km /hr. Turn 8 is also slow taken in 2 nd gear at around 100 km/hr and traction out of here is quite difficult. The following straight is quite short as I reach 4 th gear and around 210km/hr before braking hard for the slowest corner of the track, turn 9. I take this in 1 st gear at around 70km/hr.
From here I accelerate through turn ten which is a long left-hand corner taken in 4 th gear at around 205km/hr and again I have to feather the throttle to balance the car through this corner. I will approach the last corner in 5 th gear at around 255 km/hr before entering one of the most critical corners on the circuit, turn 11, which is taken in 2 nd gear at around 110km/hr. This is a very long corner, at around 650 meters long, with hard acceleration all the way through it. A good exit from this corner is extremely important to maintain or to obtain a high top speed on the pit straight and again into the 1 st corner which provides the best overtaking opportunity on the track.