Renault's Chinese GP preview


Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal, Renault F1 Team: "The start of the 2019 season has fallen short of our high expectations. Our overall competitiveness is good enough for our drivers to be racing in the top 10 and closer to the top teams than last year, but we have suffered from reliability issues.

"We move onto China with caution, but also with a resolution to really get the season going.

"It's a significant race for the team, for the wider Groupe Renault, given the importance of the Chinese market, and also for Formula 1 for its incredible 1000th Grand Prix. There are a number of very important touchpoints for us over the course of the week. Our young Chinese Development Driver, Guanyu Zhou, will take centre stage in town and on track.

"We look forward to seeing the passionate Chinese fans in Shanghai, and, on-track, we aim for an improved effort and results from both cars, which demonstrates our true ability across both car and driver pairing.

With a productive post-Bahrain GP two-day test completed, which according to one betting site has shortened the odds on Renault finishing fourth in the standings, there's a determined mindset across both sides of the Channel to shine in China, as Chassis Technical Director Nick Chester explains.

What are the main challenges of the Shanghai International Circuit?
Nick Chester: Shanghai is an interesting track. It can be a tricky place for striking the right downforce level as there are some high-speed corners and hairpins matched with two long straights. It can also be interesting for variable weather and there have been a few very wet races there in the past. Shanghai brings a different set-up to Bahrain because we go from a circuit, which is difficult for the rear end to a circuit difficult for the front end. Some corners in Shanghai - like the long Turns 1-2 combination, are very hard on the front tyres. Getting the car to turn in, without understeer or wearing the front tyres, is quite a challenge.

Do we have any specific chassis developments for China?
NC: We have some new bodywork in various areas as well as some braking and suspension updates. It's important we have a well-executed weekend in China and do everything right.

Has the team benefitted positively from the Bahrain test?
NC: Definitely. We completed some useful setup work with Daniel and ran through tests of development parts with both Daniel and Jack. Despite the rain on the first day, we pretty much completed our programme.

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Published: 09/04/2019
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