Allan McNish talks about working with Renault and his plans for the future Q: You've had an exciting year with Mild Seven Renault F1 Team but you must be disappointed to be leaving after just a year? "I've had a fantastic year, the high point...
Allan McNish talks about working with Renault and his plans for the future
Q: You've had an exciting year with Mild Seven Renault F1 Team but you must be disappointed to be leaving after just a year?
"I've had a fantastic year, the high point being Fernando's win in Hungary where it was a great feeling to see the hard work I'd been putting in contributing to the team's first win in its current guise. It's disappointing that I won't be able to carry on helping the team achieve its goals for 2004 and beyond, but I'm satisfied that I've helped them reach an enviable position in Formula 1 - knocking very hard on the door of the big three teams."
Q: Can you confirm what you'll be doing in 2004?
"I've still got two races to go with Renault in 2003 so right now I'm focussing on Indianapolis and Suzuka and giving the team as much support as I have done all season. It would be a fitting end to a great season to see Jarno or Fernando win again, and that's what I'm working to help them do.
"In the meantime I'm in the fortunate position of having a number of options open to me next season. A year with Renault has given me an extremely good insight into the day-to-day workings of one of the top four F1 teams. That knowledge, coupled with my past experience with Toyota, Audi and Porsche, amongst others, gives me a real edge over the other drivers who are after competitive seats."
"As soon as I can confirm where I will be in 2004 I will obviously make an announcement, but I don't want to rush into anything and need to focus on the last two races this year."
Q: Do you think that the change in the rules on Friday testing raised the profile of the test driver within F1 this season?
"It's pretty clear that of all the teams who took part, Renault has benefited most from Friday testing this year in terms of track performance both in qualifying and in the actual races. It's not for me to say, but I know I've contributed to the success we've had this year, and that has to have raised the profile and value of test drivers as well."