Cyril Abiteboul: Sometimes it's best to look forward and not reflect too much on the last race. Monaco was not kind to us this year, with a multitude of issues, so it's definitely best to focus on Canada. There are a number of reasons we can be optimistic for Montreal: the main one being that both drivers will have the new power unit upgrade for the first time. The PU worked well in Monaco but we should see the full benefit on this circuit, which is much more power sensitive. Everyone is also very motivated to put the blip of Monaco behind us and race in a much more representative position.
After a Monaco Grand Prix to forget, Racing Director, Renault Sport Racing, Fred Vasseur gives his opinions.
What were the positives from Monaco?
Fred Vasseur: The main positive is that the B specification power unit is working well and gives us good potential for the future. It's a strong valuable step in terms of performance, both in headline power figures and in driveability. It was completely reliable too, so we are happy with progress there.
What is your evaluation of the Monaco weekend?
FV: It's true that Monaco was not a successful event for us; we left Monte Carlo with a lot of damaged parts, we didn't finish the race with either car and we scored no points. The race took place in difficult conditions as we saw with Jolyon. Fortunately he was not hurt although the same cannot be said for his chassis.
Kevin's call to change tyres was a good one even if he did get stuck behind Pascal Wehrlein longer than we wanted after the pit stop. His pace was not bad in clear running but Daniil Kvyat decided to end that for us. He was one lap down and it was a completely stupid move. It's always difficult to have a good strategy in Monaco as you are dependent on what your rivals are doing as it's so difficult to overtake there.
Elsewhere it was a good weekend for Renault Sport Academy driver Oliver Rowland who finished in third position in the GP2 Series Feature race. Another aspect to Monaco was that we generated a lot of interest with the F1 inspired R.S.16 Clio on track, we had a high profile guest in Tony Parker and a lot of Renault personnel were present as the race is the event nearest to being a French Grand Prix.
What can we expect in Montreal?
FV: Hopefully a better weekend than we had in Monaco! We approach each race on its own merits so everyone has reset after Monaco and we'll be looking for the best results possible. Both drivers will have the B specification power plant and we'll have some new parts to try on the cars too.
We will have our Test Driver Nicholas Latifi joining the team to get an insight into how an F1 team works over the course of a race weekend. Nicholas had a strong start to his GP2 Series season with his Barcelona podium even if his weekend in Monaco was more challenging. He will drive in FP1 later in the year so his weekend in Canada is vital preparation.
Technical Director, Nick Chester (pictured) explains the challenge of Montreal
What can we expect in Montreal?
Nick Chester: Canada is another challenging track. It has a street course feel and it's another place where we see a lot of track evolution as it's not used for many race activities other than the Grand Prix. The circuit surface is low grip and it can be difficult to get the tyres into their working range there. Montreal has also presented us with quite a mix of weather conditions over the years, so there is plenty to keep us on our toes.
How much benefit does the B specification power unit bring?
NC: It's a good step forward and we have it in both cars in Montreal. In Monaco we were able to benefit primarily from the improved driveability whereas Montreal is more a power track thanks to its straights following slow corners. This means we should really see the power unit stretch its legs.
What's needed from the car in Montreal?
NC: It's mainly about braking and traction. There's a lot of heavy braking so you need to be on top of cooling for the brakes to ensure they don't overheat and need a setup which has good stability under braking to give the driver confidence. There are some reasonable kerbs at the chicanes so ride over those is also important. You also need strong traction out of the slow corners and good grunt to propel the car down the straights.
How much damage was sustained on both cars in Monaco?
NC: Kevin's incidents mainly damaged bolt-on parts whereas Jolyon's incident means we will use a new chassis – R.S.16-04 – for Montreal. The car hit the barriers quite hard at an oblique angle which damaged the front of the chassis and since we have a new chassis available it makes sense to introduce it. Fortunately, 04 was pretty far along on its build so we only needed to complete fuel cell installation and wiring for it to be ready for Canada.