Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Technical Director Mike Gascoyne is confident the team can build on a competitive opening half of the season and earn another points-scoring finish at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal this weekend. "We are expecting...
Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Technical Director Mike Gascoyne is confident the team can build on a competitive opening half of the season and earn another points-scoring finish at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal this weekend.
"We are expecting another strong performance in Montreal. A car needs to change direction well in the chicanes and handle over the bumps, as well as being stable under heavy braking. We are good in all those areas, and Montreal has traditionally been a strong circuit for the team."
The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team currently lies in fourth position in the Constructors' Championship after seven races, although Gascoyne knows the points tally could have been greater with improved reliability.
"In Monaco, our qualifying performance showed we were very much the fourth team," said Gascoyne. "However, I think the significant point is that we were disappointed with seventh and eighth. However, Jarno drove a fine race, and it is positive for him to have scored his first points of the year.
Executive Director of Engineering Pat Symonds underlined the importance of Trulli's Monaco result: "From the team's point of view, it doesn't necessarily matter where the points are coming from, but it is definitely good for Jarno and he will approach this race in a very positive frame of mind."
However, in spite of meeting the pre-season target of fourth place in the Constructors' Championship, Gascoyne still sees room for improvement in the team's performance.
"So far, we are where we hoped to be at the start of the year. Every time we have finished, we have run very competitively and scored points. The problem is that we have also missed a number of good opportunities: we now need to pin down our reliability issues in order to realise our full potential."
The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team expects a positive performance in Montreal, where the R202 should suit the demands of the 4.361 km Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which places heavy demands on transmissions and brakes.
Pat Symonds insists the nature of the circuit make it a similar challenge to Monaco, and knows that the ever-increasing grip levels during the weekend can create some challenges in setting the car up for race conditions.
"The track is actually surprisingly similar to Monaco but with much-lower levels of downforce," Symonds said. "As another temporary circuit, it is very slippery, which means we use very soft tyre compounds, and also very bumpy. A lot of the characteristics the car needs are very similar.
"The long straights mean that choosing the correct gear ratios can be a challenge, and the weather conditions also complicate matters sometimes. When it gets windy along the back straight, this can impact on our choice of ratios, as well as blowing dust onto the circuit, which makes things tricky for the drivers.
"Grip levels increase throughout the weekend, and the track tends to be very slippery on Friday. As we run with high fuel loads on the first day, this means we have to make certain estimations for our race set-up based on a hypothetical increase in grip."
Symonds also feels that tyre degradation will be an important factor for race strategy in Montreal this year, despite the circuit being notoriously kind on tyres.
"The circuit is very easy on tyres which has traditionally meant that teams try and run as far as possible before stopping, as we saw in last year's race. However, this year has seen the tyre manufacturers using softer and softer compounds, which I believe may see tyre wear play a more significant role in race strategies."