Pat Symonds, Renault's engineering director, explains why he is not ruling out a challenge from Kimi Raikkonen this afternoon. Q: Pat, how has the weekend gone so far? Pat Symonds: Pretty well. We didn't seem very quick on Friday but I think...
Pat Symonds, Renault's engineering director, explains why he is not ruling out a challenge from Kimi Raikkonen this afternoon.
Q: Pat, how has the weekend gone so far?
Pat Symonds: Pretty well. We didn't seem very quick on Friday but I think we generally take a different approach to the other teams. That meant we weren't worried about our times or our position on the first day -- we knew what we were doing. Yesterday morning, we were in the position we expected and there were no problems. Fernando put in a very good qualifying lap, but Giancarlo unfortunately made some mistakes. I would have liked to see him higher up on the grid, but he can still make up places.
Q: In Turkey, you took a different approach to strategy to battle with McLaren.
PS: Will you be doing the same thing until the end of the year? PS: I decided to modify our race strategy in Turkey to get us close to McLaren on the grid, which meant our first stint was quite short. However, that was more a specific incident than a permanent change. We weren't as fast as we wanted to be in Istanbul.
Q: How will you approach the race?
PS: Kimi Raikkonen's grid position doesn't mean a thing. I think he can still win the race.
PS: If McLaren choose to take a team approach to the race, and personally I can't see why they wouldn't. If Montoya takes the lead, he can control his pace so that Kimi doesn't lose too much ground. That would mean Kimi could be fighting for the lead by the end of the second stint. We are not going into the race telling ourselves that our main rival is out of the hunt.
Q: What will be the keys to this race?
PS: Two things will be important. Firstly, the start: if Fernando gets ahead of Montoya at the first chicane, the nature of the race might change. After that, Raikkonen's first stint will be crucial. If he is stuck in the pack and cannot make up places easily, he will struggle to get to the front. But if he can gain position before his first stop, then he will be a threat. Especially if he gets a helping hand from his team-mate...