70th Anniversary GP - GP preview - Renault F1

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By Olivier Ferret

5 August 2020 - 11:38
70th Anniversary GP - GP preview - (...)

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo matched his best result in Renault colours after a superb fourth place at Silverstone on Sunday. The Australian kept his cool amongst the chaos, as he sets his sights on doing it all over again this weekend for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

How do you reflect on the first Silverstone race?

It was crazy out there towards the end. It really was amazing, and we managed to get a decent reward from it by having good pace right to the chequered flag. It was important to have a solid start to the race and keep in touch with those ahead of us, which we managed well. It felt really good, and a morale booster for the team, but, as always, we want more. We were 1.1 seconds from a podium, so we’re heading the right way.

What will be different about this weekend?

We’ll be hoping for a similar result, that’s for sure. And, who knows, maybe we can! I think the weather looks to be hot again all weekend and that will bring some challenges. It was also very windy at Silverstone and that makes things tricky in a Formula 1 car. We’re heading a step softer on tyres, which will certainly be interesting. We don’t see that many two-stop races and this one should be a two-stopper, so we’ll see what happens there. The aim will be to nail our qualifying and see if we can sneak a little further up for the start. Our race pace has been good, so let’s see what we can do.

What will you do in the week to prepare for the race?

These high-speed circuits do take it out from you, so I’ll do a bit of recovery throughout the early part of the week. I’ll rest a bit and then build up some training ready for the weekend. It still feels quite strange not to be flying off anywhere after the race and that we’ll be back at the same circuit for a race only a few days apart. The routine is nice, so I’m looking forward to it. Let’s do it!

Esteban Ocon

It was a thrilling race for Esteban Ocon at Silverstone, as he claimed his best result in Formula 1 since the 2018 Italian Grand Prix. The French driver targets another opportunity this weekend for the second Silverstone race.

What positives can you draw from the race?

It was a really good team result with 20 points between both cars. I think it’s down to the hard work between Enstone and Viry and bouncing back from Budapest. We worked hard to find improvements to make sure we went into Silverstone knowing a good result was possible. The car was awesome in the race. It helped that we had a decent start, keeping my place and staying close to a group of cars ahead. We managed the Hard tyre really well and had good pace at the end to progress some places. We definitely deserved the result and that makes us want even more this weekend.

What are your thoughts on this weekend’s event?

After a result like that at the first Silverstone race, we definitely have the motivation to do the same, if not even better this weekend. One thing I think we can improve is qualifying. In Q1 and Q2 we were clearly a top eight, maybe even a top six, car and then in Q3 we just couldn’t quite get it together. If we can start higher up the order, our race pace is definitely good enough to take some big points. We have different tyres this weekend, so Friday will be about seeing what we can do with them and identifying our strategy for both qualifying and the race.

How do you plan to spend your preparation?

I’m doing some recovery training first as it’s quite a physical race at Silverstone. I’ll continue with some preparation work with the team and engineers to make sure we’re ready for Friday and ready to get straight on with the job. In between that, I’ll fit in some chill time and recover some energy!

Engineering Director Matt Harman

The team recorded one of its best results since returning to the sport at last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Now the focus is back on Silverstone, as Engineering Director Matt Harman looks ahead to the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

How would you evaluate the team’s performance at the British Grand Prix?

It was a very good performance throughout the weekend. We had a well-executed Friday, which set us up for Saturday where we performed to our expectations. Clearly, the race was a good result with double figure points as the reward. We took some updates to the car, both aerodynamically and mechanically, and they both performed as per our expectations. We also gathered a decent level of understanding for future developments. The drivers gave good feedback on the updates, in particular with car consistency between runs, which is important. Overall, a very good weekend for us both from an engineering perspective and from a results perspective, however, we know we’re not at the competitive level we’d like to be and we will continue pushing for more.

We also had a reliable car all weekend and that was clearly something we had to work on from the first two races. We will keep working hard on reliability further into the season. It’s been a big effort from the factory during these quite challenging circumstances to overcome the issues from the first two races.

What are we expecting this weekend?

There will be some new challenges this weekend. The tyres are a compound softer so that will change our race and qualifying strategy. We’ve looked through some simulations and which car setup to take for the weekend. We have some interesting mechanical developments to go on the car in very specific areas. This will allow us to improve our performance, and also help our understanding for next year’s car, which is an evolution of the current one.

How difficult is it to keep up development with staff working remotely?

It is quite difficult to manage, but we’ve adapted incredibly well. As a team, we are flexible in our work anyway and I think that has served us well. We’ve operated all our test systems, validated components, completed aero correlation; all the things we normally do but in very different circumstances. I’ve been quite proud of everybody in that regard. Everybody has been tenacious in making it happen and getting around problems, so that’s been really good. The main issue comes in creating a new car design without organic conversation and on-site collaborations. It’s difficult to do that remotely, but we’re getting back into it.

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