Site logo

Renault's Russia GP Preview

NEWS STORY
25/04/2017

Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport Racing Managing Director: Bahrain showed both another positive step in our progress, and reiterated an area where we must focus our attention.

For the first time in the team's short history, we qualified both cars in the top ten. This was thanks to teamwork from everyone at the track and everyone at Enstone and Viry. Nico was able to deliver the fast laps whenever needed and Jolyon staged an impressive recovery from a difficult FP3.

In the Grand Prix we did score our first points of the season with Nico, but this joy was tempered by the acknowledgement that we should have scored more.

Our focus at the factory in Enstone and then at the test in Bahrain which followed the Grand Prix has been seeking how to unlock the pace of the R.S.17 in race conditions.

Nico and Sergey drove in the test and both were able to give positive feedback. Sergey impressed us by getting up to speed very quickly in this new generation car, despite having not driven since last year.

Sergey will drive in FP1 in Sochi alongside Jolyon. Russia is an important market for us and it is good for them to see their local hero out in action.

We're hoping that the work of the test can be applied and all the new parts tested will work as well as they did in evaluation when we take to the track in Sochi. Both cars in the points in Russia would be a fantastic reward and another step forward in our 2017 journey.

Elsewhere, Renault reiterated its long term commitment to Formula 1 by showing the R.S. 2027 at the Shanghai Motor Show on April 19. The reaction to this concept car outlining what Formula 1 could be in ten years' time has been fantastic. We look forward to continuing this conversation.

Finally, last weekend saw the first of our Renault Sport Academy members get their seasons underway with the opening round of the Formula Renault Eurocup. Max Fewtrell, Jarno Opmeer and Sun Yue Yang were all in action with some strong potential seen between them at the start of their rookie years in this highly competitive championship.

After three Grands Prix and one in-season test, Chief Technical Officer Bob Bell looks at the state of play with the R.S.17 heading to the Russian Grand Prix.

What's the outlook heading to Russia?
Bob Bell: We head to Sochi with a reasonable degree of optimism. We have shown a good progression so far in 2017, most notably illustrated by qualifying both cars in the top ten for the first time in Bahrain as well as securing our first points finish. There's no doubt we have work still to do, equally it's clear we've taken a tangible step forward.

Where's the current focus of development?
BB: It's pretty clear and we're not under any illusion; we are currently qualifying better than we race and that's a symptom of our current car performance. We have a reasonable understanding of why this is and have a number of developments to address this in the realm of aerodynamics and suspension. We tested new parts – including a new front wing - in Bahrain designed to add more aero-performance to the car and also make it slightly more benign to engender better race pace. It's a positive of testing somewhere where you've just had a Grand Prix that there is a lot of comparable data for evaluation.

Why does the car seem to qualify better than it races?
BB: The R.S.17 is not as well balanced as we'd like over a full stint. Whilst you can get away with this over the course of a qualifying lap - where fresh tyres can mask the balance issue – the performance is less consistent when you take to the longer runs of race stints.

The R.S.17 has a somewhat nervous corner entry, followed by mid-turn understeer, followed by a nervous exit making finding traction a challenge. If we can address these areas, our drivers will have a very effective race car at their disposal. We believe the problems are aero related, so we're primarily looking for the solution there. Once we have the entry-phase of the corner sorted, the rest should follow more easily.

The big positive is that the car has the basic pace to be able to be qualified well. Our current issue is extracting that pace in a race scenario. If you have the pace the key is maintaining it; it's easier to translate qualifying pace to race pace than to find basic performance.

What's wanted in Russia?
BB: Our target for Sochi is another step forward from our performance in Bahrain. We'd be happy with a similar qualifying position allied to improved race pace.

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

No comments posted as yet, would you like to be the first to have your say?

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2019. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms