Renault third driver Franck Montagny reviews the team's recent test at the Paul Ricard circuit in France Franck Montagny. Photo by LAT Photographic. "I've just got back from a two day test at Paul Ricard, running the R25 -- we had ...
Renault third driver Franck Montagny reviews the team's recent test at the Paul Ricard circuit in France
"I've just got back from a two day test at Paul Ricard, running the R25 -- we had originally planned to do three days but after the weather forecasts predicted rain for today, we decided to stop last night. Why? Nine of the ten F1 teams have agreed to restrict their testing to thirty days during the season, which means we need to be careful with the quota. By limiting our work this week, we gained a day of testing that could be valuable later on.
"I haven't really told you much about the R25 yet this year. Where should I start? What hits you as soon as you leave the garage is the engine -- it's really powerful. Then, you feel the car is easier to drive than the R24. I felt confident straight away -- just like Giancarlo and Fernando did when they first got behind the wheel. That makes it easier for us to find the limit, and attack more. In spite of the aerodynamic changes for this year, the car is stable under braking and mid-corner. It's also smaller than the R24 -- I could see that as soon as I got behind the wheel!"
"The car is definitely quick over a single lap. I haven't had the chance to really attack 100% on a flying lap yet, because that's the job of the race drivers -- they need to find the limit very quickly in qualifying, and practice it during testing. On the long runs, the R25 is very gentle on its tyres and doesn't lose pace over the run -- it's even quicker after 30 laps! It really is a great car."
"Last year, my work in testing was mainly about tyre evaluation but things are a bit different this season. At each session, we are testing lots of developments -- as well as some mechanical improvements, we ran a new front wing and new tyres this week. The first day was a good one: I did more than 150 laps; on the second, we had some technical problems which restricted our running a little more. But I'm not worried -- that's why we go testing, to find problems and prevent them from happening at the races."
"We're now in good shape for Imola. I think our rivals next weekend will be McLaren, and Ferrari should be very quick over one lap -- and in with a shout for pole, like in Bahrain. I'm not sure they have the pace to fight for the win over a whole race distance though. But that's just my opinion... we'll find out if I'm right next weekend!"