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Renault's Canada GP preview

NEWS STORY
04/06/2017

Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport Racing Managing Director: Montreal promises to be an exciting one for everybody involved. It is the 50th anniversary of Formula 1 in Canada and the 375th anniversary of Montreal as a city. It all adds up to be a special weekend, and we are very excited to get out there and getting on the circuit.

Monaco was a very testing weekend for the team. We experienced reliability issues on mechanical components that were on the last race of their cycle. These are challenges that all teams can experience, it is part and parcel of life in modern-day Formula 1. Monaco highlighted the areas we need to improve and further confirmed elements we knew about. And with the new components, we are now ready to attack the next race with the same perseverance and attitude.

Canada is all about bouncing back and making a fresh start. We now have a more robust engine and gearbox and we can fully focus on maximising performance. The team in Enstone are heading to the race with an aerodynamic package adapted to the Montreal circuit. However due to the challenges of the track, we certainly don't expect an easy race.

The effort going in across both bases in England and Viry is driving us forward and it is vital that we maintain this hard work, as we set our sights on being at least sixth place in the Constructors' standings before the summer break. That should enable us to defend our position and reset our targets towards finishing the second-half of the season in fifth.

It is a busy time for Renault Sport Racing with Formula 1, Formula E and Formula Renault Eurocup in full swing.

In the FIA Formula 2 Championship, Renault Sport Formula One Team Development Driver Oliver Rowland secured his first-ever win in the series in Monaco. As a team, we are delighted for Oliver for his hard-work behind the scenes and we hope he continues his positive run of form.

It's a return home for Renault Sport Formula One Team Test Driver Nicholas Latifi, who joins us in Montreal. As well as working with this team this weekend, he will be working as a Brand Ambassador for our Official Partner, Infiniti.

As a brand, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of Renault's Formula 1 entry in Monaco so we are looking forward to being part of Canada's 50th Formula 1 anniversary and hope we can deliver a celebration-worthy performance on track.

Monaco was a challenging weekend for the team but Chief Technical Officer Bob Bell is keen to put that right on a fast, hard-braking Montreal circuit.

What did we learn in Monaco?
Bob Bell: Despite coming away from the weekend with no points and thinking 'that was a torrid event,' there are positives. We were quite far off the pace on Thursday, but we were fortunate for the intervening Friday where we could review the data further, decide what was wrong and deal with it. The communications between our departments was very good here. We were assisted by having an extra day to process the data, but the way the team including everyone at Enstone and Viry reacted was admirable.

In terms of issues encountered, Nico's gearbox was on the last race of a six-race cycle and we knew ahead of the Grand Prix that there was potential it could catch us out, and this it did. We made a balanced judgement on whether or not to change it before the race and accept a five-place penalty. If it had held we'd have scored a good tally of points. If we'd taken the penalty and started further back on the grid, points would have been a tall order. We have work to do there to make sure it we don't have the same issue again and the next gearbox cycle is an evolution to counter the issues seen from the start of the season. We had problems for both drivers on Thursday; the power unit for Jolyon and electronics for Nico.

What can we say about Montreal?
BB: Montreal is more demanding than Monaco regarding engine performance. It has longer straights, twisty bits with low speed corners but a bit more opportunity for the car to exercise its legs. Montreal is similar to Monaco in terms of demands on the driver to not make any minor errors as you can pay a heavy price. That is always a feature of Montreal, it puts a lot of energy on the brakes and tyres, lots of acceleration and braking which works the car hard. We will go with the softest three compounds, the softer of those compounds will be most favourable.

How important is it for the drivers to ride the kerbs at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve?
BB: There are a lot of kerbs around Montreal and to get a good time there you need to use them. Traditionally, in the last few races, that has not been our strong point, but we are making progress there and it will be a test for us. It will be a one-stop, I suspect. Temperature can be variable in Montreal which can make a big difference with tyres. Track temperature will play a significant part in strategy and set-up.

Are there any new parts for the car?
BB: We have some new bits including some aero upgrades specifically for this grand prix.

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