Webchat with Renault's Mike Gascoyne

Renault UK Techical Director Mike Gascoyne recently took part in an open question and answer session on the internet; here are some of his answers to questions posed by fans. Q: Do you think Jenson Button is getting better? Mike Gascoyne: He's...

Renault UK Techical Director Mike Gascoyne recently took part in an open question and answer session on the internet; here are some of his answers to questions posed by fans.

Q: Do you think Jenson Button is getting better?

Mike Gascoyne: He's maturing as a driver but I don't think he's getting better from a talent point of view. He learnt a lot from last year and now he's enjoying his driving and he's driving very well. He's learning through making mistakes.

Q: People conceive of Jarno Trulli as a brilliant qualifier but a rather less brilliant racer, how true is this statement according to you?

MG: I don't think that's true at all. In a couple of the races he's done for us he's raced very well. He has suffered over the years with a car that was unreliable and maybe that's led him to look after the car more than others, but I think you'll see some very strong race performances from him this year, and we're encouraging him to push the car hard to ensure that his race performances are as good as his qualifying performances.

Q: Who has been your favourite driver that you have worked with?

MG: I started work at McLaren in 1989 when Senna and Prost were driving, so it's difficult to top that! It's enjoyable working with all drivers but certainly Senna was something very special.

Q: Which forthcoming GP do you think Renault will be best at?

MG: We will be competitive on all tracks I think. We have had several very good tests at Silverstone, which is a track that needs good aerodynamics so we're hopeful there. At Spa last year we performed very well so we're confident of a good performance there, along with Hungary. There's no particular track that stands out, we just need to work on improving the car to get closer to the front on all tracks.

Q: Do you expect the Montreal circuit to suit the R202?

MG: It will suit us because we will have very similar tyres to Monaco and although it's a much quicker track, the key to Montreal is good traction, good change of direction, a car that handles well over the bumps and good braking. These are also the key elements for a good car in Monaco. I think we will be competitive in Montreal, like we were in Monaco.

Q: Ron Dennis said earlier in the year that he didn't really see Renault as serious opposition to McLaren. In view of the progress Renault have made do you think he was being arrogant?

MG: I think at the time he said that, it was motivation for us to challenge them. They had a good result in Monaco but that result apart, I think we are quite close to them and certainly we will be a challenge for them throughout the season. We certainly have to improve to do that consistently but I feel we can.

-renault-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Mike Gascoyne
Teams McLaren