Spanish GP: Renault driver preview

Comments from the Renault drivers ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix Jarno Trulli -- Race Driver: Q: Jarno, how are you looking forward to Barcelona? JT: I'm feeling very good; although I had some problems in Imola, we know we were unlucky with...

Comments from the Renault drivers ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix

Jarno Trulli -- Race Driver:

Q: Jarno, how are you looking forward to Barcelona?

JT: I'm feeling very good; although I had some problems in Imola, we know we were unlucky with the new regulations and how difficult it is to overtake there. Fernando showed the car had good speed, even though it wasn't our best circuit, and I think we can feel positive about Barcelona. We were quick there last year, it should suit our car well because of the aerodynamics and our reliability has been excellent. I think we can definitely look to score more points this weekend.

Q: What are the challenges for a driver at Barcelona?

JT: With lots of corners, and most of them at relatively high speed, the car's aerodynamic performance is very important. We spend a lot of time over the lap in the corners, so we have to get the balance absolutely right for them; Turn 3 can be difficult, because the left front tyre is under a very high load for a long time and you can lose a lot of time there with understeer. The other thing is the track surface, which can be quite unsettling in Turn 11, the uphill right hander -- but we can't do much about that with the set up; you just have to cope with it as well as possible!

Fernando Alonso -- Race Driver:

Q: Fernando, this season will be the second home Grand Prix of your career. Does the extra focus on you play a role in your weekend, or not?

FA: For me, this is obviously a very important race; it's a special feeling to be racing in front of m home fans. It means a lot to me to know that people around the circuit are concentrating on me, and I always get great support from the crowd in Barcelona. Obviously, I am a professional, and my motivation is high for every race: it doesn't matter what circuit I go to, I am always performing to my maximum and that is what is important, to always be pushing for more. But even so, I think that every driver tries to do a little bit more for their home race, and it is no different for me: a good result here this weekend would be very special indeed.

Q: What memories do you have of racing in Barcelona earlier in your career?

FA: To be honest, I haven't done that many races at Barcelona, but we always used it for lots of testing in the junior categories in Spain. I actually won a race there in Formula Nissan in 1999, and had a good race with Minardi in 2001.

Q: What kind of driving style does the driver need at Barcelona?

FA: It is definitely what you would call a driver's circuit, with all types of corners: a good mixture of high speed and low speed, and some of them are pretty difficult to get absolutely right. The driver is definitely a big part of getting a good lap time because the quick corners need good commitment and confidence in the car. From that point of view, I enjoy the demands on the driver: we are always being tested one hundred percent over the lap.

Q: Overall, how do you expect to perform in Barcelona?

FA: I don't think we can be completely sure about how competitive we will be: the first few races were quite surprising in terms of performance, since we performed well at some tracks where we didn't expect to, and had problems at others. I think we can expect a good weekend though, because the most important thing at Barcelona is always aero performance, and we have already seen that we are quite strong in that area.

Allan McNish -- Test Driver:

Q: As Barcelona is one of the principal Formula 1 testing venues, this might seem to diminish the advantage of the extra Friday session. Do you think that is an accurate analysis?

AM: Although everybody obviously has a lot of experience of Barcelona, they won't have tested as close to the race weekend as us. The main advantage will come with getting headstart on the tyres; we are improving constantly from what was already an extremely good base and any extra experience you can get with the tyres in the prevailing conditions is a big advantage. We have to make sure that our advantage is bigger than our rivals expect.

Q: Last week saw the Team's first conventional test since the start of the season. How did it go, and how did your work compare to a normal 'unlimited' session?

AM: Certainly everybody was very conscious of the restricted time, and we were working flat out throughout the two days in order to get through our whole programme. We effectively managed that, and saw lots of improvements in different areas. It was also very positive for me, because the two hours on a Friday aren't really enough to keep fully up to date with everything on the car, so it was good just to build up my seat time. Even though it rained on the second day, we were still running in the wet, and completed more than a race distance on both days; it was a very positive session.


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Allan McNish , Fernando Alonso
Teams Minardi