Renault comments on race changes

Renault comments on race changes

Members of the Renault F1 team seem fairly happy about the race regulation changes that were decided upon in December last year. Friday testing, one-lap qualifying, a new points system and new tyre specification all appear to have met with ...

Members of the Renault F1 team seem fairly happy about the race regulation changes that were decided upon in December last year. Friday testing, one-lap qualifying, a new points system and new tyre specification all appear to have met with equilibrium and optimism from the drivers and technical staff alike.

Fernando Alonso, Flavio Briatore and Jarno Trulli.
Photo by Renault F1.
Renault, somewhat surprisingly, opted to take up the Friday testing session of race weekends and curtail its rest of the year testing activities to ten days. Team Principal Flavio Briatore explained: "The Renault F1 Team is open-minded enough to evaluate the benefits of this measure.Two extra hours of free practice will enable our drivers and engineers to get a better understanding of the circuits at which the Grands Prix actually take place."

"It's an excellent opportunity, especially for those venues where testing is not possible. Fernando Alonso will be able to familiarise himself better with every circuit, and this decision will not detract from our development programme."

The drivers themselves are both looking forward to the new qualifying challenge: "I have already worked with an identical system in karting," said Jarno trulli. "It promises to be an interesting exercise, with no margin for error. We will have to be careful not to over-drive, not to want to do too much, otherwise we could end up paying a big price. I have always loved qualifying, so I think I will like this new rule."

Fernando Alonso concurs: "Like Jarno, I have used a similar system in karting, and it wasn't so bad for me," he commented. "I believe this measure is good for spectators, and we are likely to have some unusual grids, which is in turn promising for the race itself."

The new Renault F1 R23: studio shoot.
Photo by Renault F1.
The top eight finishers will now benefit from scoring points, instead of the previous top six, and technical director Mike Gascoyne thinks it's a good idea: "In 2002, when we were reliable, we saw that we generally finished inside the top six," he said. "More points will be awarded now and that's good for us. Finishing inside the top eight shouldn't be a problem, which means we should be able to add to our total at each Grand Prix."

Tyre manufacturers can now supply different specifications to its two dry tyre compounds and there will only be one wet tyre option. Engineering Director Pat Symonds thinks the tyre changes will increase competitiveness:

"As a French team, we want to become Michelin's number one partner," Symonds said. "We have worked hand in hand for months, and this new measure should enable us to be even more competitive. Along with aerodynamics, tyres are the key performance factor in modern F1 and, as such, demand a great deal of attention."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Fernando Alonso , Flavio Briatore , Mike Gascoyne
Teams Renault F1 Team