Renault's Executive Director of Engineering Pat Symonds expects almost all competitors to make three stops this afternoon in Hungary. Q: Pat, how pleased are you with yesterday's qualifying positions? Pat Symonds: We had mixed feelings really.
Renault's Executive Director of Engineering Pat Symonds expects almost all competitors to make three stops this afternoon in Hungary.
Q: Pat, how pleased are you with yesterday's qualifying positions?
Pat Symonds: We had mixed feelings really. Fernando's time was satisfactory, and we had made some small changes to the car between pre-qualifying and qualifying to try and improve the balance, which worked. As for Jarno, he was on track when a brief, light rain shower broke over the circuit - for the first time ever in the eighteen years we have been coming here!
It affected just a few corners, and lasted three minutes - exactly when he was on track. In light of this, ninth is as good as we could have expected, and the consolation is that he is on the clean side of the grid for the start, just like Fernando.
Q: In terms of strategy today, what can we expect?
PS: It appears that all cars, with the exception of Massa, will be make three stops. In view of the difficulty of overtaking at this circuit, the timing of the stops may have a significant bearing on the final results. I think we can expect to see most of the first stops between laps 10 and 13, with further stops on the late 20s to early 30s, and then late 40s to early 50s.
Q: Finally, we saw heavy rain after yesterday's qualifying sessions: what effect will that have today?
PS: The rain will certainly have affected the track surface. Over the past few days, we have seen the track improving steadily as rubber has been laid down by the cars and grip levels increased. The rain will, literally, have washed away some of that progress. Quite what effect this will have, and how the different types of tyre will be affected, remains to be seen.
I think, though, we can expect more front tyre graining than usual - a common complaint on Friday at this circuit when grip levels are low - but this will in turn reduce the energy being put through the rear tyres, which are often marginal during the race here.