French GP: Renault driver preview

Comments from the Renault drivers ahead of the French Grand Prix Jarno Trulli -- Race driver Q: Jarno, tell us a little about the circuit at Magny-Cours... Jarno Trulli: It is quite a technical circuit, with a little bit of everything: rapid...

Comments from the Renault drivers ahead of the French Grand Prix

Jarno Trulli -- Race driver

Q: Jarno, tell us a little about the circuit at Magny-Cours...

Jarno Trulli: It is quite a technical circuit, with a little bit of everything: rapid changes of direction in the quick chicanes, and every type of corner, from slow hairpins to fast sweeping bends. From the driver's point of view, it is a fun circuit.

Q: And what can we expect in terms of your performance?

JT: We will be able to say a bit more about performance when we get there, but the track is well known for the smoothness of its surface, which means we can push the ride heights pretty low. Last year, Michelin were strong there as well, so I am looking forward to the race.

Q: You have spent much of your career with French teams: is this something of a home race for you?

JT: Definitely, yes: this is a very important race for Renault, obviously, and we will have a lot of fans there from the company. Personally, I have a lot of support in France, and I enjoy racing there. It would be nice to race well for them and get a good result.

Fernando Alonso -- Race driver

Q: This will be your first French Grand Prix as a Renault driver: will competing at the team's home race bring any added pressure?

Fernando Alonso: No, I don't think it brings added pressure: myself and the Team always do the best we can, whatever the race. The race will be a very special event for the team, especially the guys from Viry, and if we are going to get a strong result, then there is no better place to do it! However, Formula 1 is always difficult: you cannot ever make predictions with any certainty.

Q: What about the circuit itself is it one you enjoy driving?

FA: For me personally, this is a good circuit: whether it will be good for us in terms of performance, it is hard to say. I normally enjoy the French Grand Prix weekend: we have an exciting circuit and good weather! The best parts of the track are the high-speed chicanes: the car needs to be able to make very quick changes of direction, and that is always something special for a driver.

Q: The track has undergone some modifications this year: what do you think of them?

FA: I have only seen the changes on a circuit map, but they look quite big the end of the lap is very different. From what I can tell, I think the alterations will definitely help overtaking. The new chicane just before the start-finish line looks quite interesting too...

Franck Montagny -- Test driver

Q: Franck, this is the first time you have participated in a Grand Prix weekend. How do you feel?

Franck Montagny: I'm feeling very good: it's going to be a special moment. The fact that I am only doing two hours' running means I have to get to grips with everything quickly: you might call it an enjoyable challenge. Having said that, it's a shame that I won't be driving for the whole day, because it would allow me to take a break, and then get back fresher on track, and ready to attack properly. Even so, it's a fantastic opportunity, and I hope it all goes well!

Q: Are you at all apprehensive ahead of your run?

FM: From my point of view as a driver, not at all. This will be my first run in the R23, and I am viewing it as a first test. If there is any pressure, it is on the team as a whole, as this session is traditionally used for tyre preparation for the race, and it must be hard for them to entrust that to a young driver. It proves the confidence they have in me, which is another reason to be relaxed!

Q: You are one of few drivers who have raced on the new circuit: what impact do the changes have?

FM: Honestly, the changes don't make a massive difference: 80 to 85% of the circuit is still the same. They have replaced a medium-slow corner with a hairpin, introduced another hairpin and a chicane, so from a driving point of view, they are not necessarily the most challenging corners: the drivers will get used to the new section pretty quickly.

Even so, I think my experience there will be a small advantage: the new layout has created another potential passing place, although there wasn't much overtaking in the World Series race. We'll see when we get there!

-renault-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Franck Montagny , Fernando Alonso