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F1 gets a sense of humour - at least Renault does!

NEWS STORY
01/04/2005

Clearly an April Fool - from today's post free practice press release:

FRIDAY FOCUS – INNOVATION BRINGS PERFORMANCE FOR RENAULT F1 TEAM

The Renault F1 Team may enter the Bahraini Grand Prix on Sunday as championship leaders, but nothing is being taken for granted. Following problems for both drivers with their drinks bottle systems in Malaysia, the team has reacted quickly to solve the problem.

"We are constantly working to optimise our drivers' performance," explained Executive Director of Engineering Pat Symonds, "and that means we try to make their cockpit environment as comfortable as possible to ensure they can perform at their maximum. As soon as we understood the problems the drivers had experienced in Malaysia, we knew we had to find a better solution for the hot, demanding conditions in Bahrain."

On Monday immediately after the Malaysian race, the drawing office at Enstone was hard at work on designing a new system, and this was ready for testing later in the week at Paul Ricard. Having been approved during three days' hard running, they made their debut today at Sakhir in Bahrain.

"Renault's road car operations bring us technical support in many significant areas, and this is a further examples of the inspirations we have found," continued Pat Symonds. "Of course, we have adapted their use to Formula One needs, but our new carbon-fibre cup holders represent another concrete link between everyday motorists and the best racing drivers in the world.

"Furthermore, we have actually found these new devices bring performance benefits," revealed Symonds. "By mounting the cup holders lower in the cockpit, we have lowered the centre of gravity such that our simulations indicate a net gain of several tenths of a second over a race distance in Bahrain. Come qualifying or the race, that could make all the difference…"

In F1, details count; the development of this foolproof system for April's first race is another example of how the teams' constant quest for fractions of a second can bring unique, innovative ideas to light…

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