Pat Symonds' NÃ¼rburgring race view The Renault F1 Team's Executive Director of Engineering talks about the weekend so far. Q: Pat, both drivers complained of a lack of grip on Friday: did things improve yesterday during practice and ...
Pat Symonds' Nürburgring race view
The Renault F1 Team's Executive Director of Engineering talks about the weekend so far.
Q: Pat, both drivers complained of a lack of grip on Friday: did things improve yesterday during practice and qualifying?
"We expected, and certainly hoped, that the circuit grip would pick up yesterday, and that this would help the balance of the cars. It certainly did, but on top of that we made a number of significant improvements to the car as we moved a little further away from the 'tuning' stage of our preparation, and into some more interesting areas of set-up in our search for grip."
Q: Jarno was slightly surprised at getting third on the grid: is that a fair reflection of the team's mood?
"I think so, yes. Our Saturday was quite successful and overall, we are pleased with our performance, which was possibly better than our slightly pessimistic predictions on Friday. Jarno was unable to complete his full programme this morning after part of the wiring loom rubbed against a bracket and shorted out, causing a misfire. This precluded his running new tyres at the end of P4, which makes his extremely good qualifying performance even more commendable. Fernando had a straightforward day, and while he did not find the grip Jarno got, he is only two tenths slower. As always at the Nürburgring, the times are extremely close and this unfortunately cost him three places."
Q: In terms of the race, what are the prospects like for Renault?
"Our prospects for the race are favourable, though a repeat of last week is, it has to be said, unlikely. Having said that, we are well placed against our main competitors and there is no reason why we should not get on the podium. Earlier in the week, we had been concerned about the frontal system that has been slowly moving from the west all week, but we are now confident this has slowed down enough that rain will not play a part in the race. However, for the tyre we have selected, we would be very happy to see high track temperatures, and we will be hoping that the clouds that normally precede a frontal system such as this do not reduce the track temperatures too much."
Q: And finally, what about race strategy - two or three stops this afternoon?
"Strategy-wise, it looks like most cars will be three stopping, although I suspect that the decision on Barrichello's car will not actually be made until after the race has started, as he appears to be carrying a fuel load that is probably suitable for him to do two or three stops. As usual, we can expect the first stop to come quite early, probably beginning as early as lap 8."