Tuscan GP 2020 - GP preview - Renault F1

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By Olivier Ferret

9 September 2020 - 08:28
Tuscan GP 2020 - GP preview - (...)

Daniel Ricciardo

It was a solid sixth place for Daniel Ricciardo in Monza as he targets more this weekend in Tuscany at the fast and flowing Mugello.

What do you know about Mugello?

I’m really excited to drive a modern Formula 1 car at Mugello. I’ve been there in 2007 for Formula Renault and in 2012 for an F1 test. It’s so fast and flowing, it has a nice rhythm and it’s going to be a lot of hard work at the wheel. I think all our necks are going to want to fly off because of the changes of direction and medium to high speed corners! It’s going to be pretty awesome.

Where will be the best place for overtaking?

For racing, it’s difficult to know where it’ll be good to overtake in these current cars. I’d say Turn 1 is going to be the best place, but I think we’re going to be braking late and deep into there as it’s quite a long corner. It’s going to be hard to send it from far, but that will be the challenge. The last corner is long and quick and hopefully there will be a few lines we can take to get closer to another car. I do think qualifying will be crazy there and a lot of fun.

What’s the feeling after Monza?

It’s one of those races where you’re happy with the result, but also left thinking if there could have been more. I think we did well to leave with points. We raced well, made good overtakes, held a good position early on until the safety car and red flag meant everything was shook up a bit. We scored well in Belgium, the same in Monza, so it would be great to keep up the trend with more this weekend in Mugello.

Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon drove strongly to climb his way from twelfth on the grid to eighth in Monza. Now it’s time to switch virtual Mugello laps on his home simulator to real ones as he gets ready for the Tuscan Grand Prix.

Is Mugello new to you?

Mugello looks like a fantastic track for pure pace. I don’t have any experience racing there as I’ve not driven it for real. From what I’ve seen on my home simulator it looks a massive challenge for the car, the driver and especially the tyres, which will be critical to manage throughout. I’ve driven a lot of laps there on the simulator and it has a nice combination of corners, some quick ones, which will be mega impressive in the current cars. I think it will be medium to high downforce with a lot tyre degradation. We’ll have a sore neck, so that’s something to keep in mind during the preparation.

Have you watched other racing series there?

I’ve watched MotoGP on TV and I think it’s their top speed of the year, which is impressive. For them, every corner is a challenge, but for us, I think some of the corners where MotoGP is high-speed and having to manage, F1 should be flat out, so it will be quite cool to see. Qualifying is going to be very fast and exciting.

How do you evaluate the Italian race?

I’m pleased we continued our points scoring run during this triple header. Of course, as a driver, you always want more, and we’ll be continuing to work to make sure we’re well prepared for this weekend. I’m happy with how the race went, we made overtakes, we showed solid pace, so we’ll push for better for this next one.

Chief Race Engineer Ciaron Pilbeam

The team picked up 12 points from last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix as Formula 1 moves to the hills of Tuscany and the twists, turns and curves of Mugello. Chief Race Engineer Ciaron Pilbeam outlines how the team is gearing up for this weekend’s race.

How does the team reflect on the Italian Grand Prix?

Monza was a very unusual race, particularly with the closure of the pit entry during the first safety car. Some drivers did well out of it, others didn’t. We did not benefit particularly, but we also didn’t lose out greatly, and having started seventh and twelfth on the grid, to finish sixth and eighth is not bad. It’s good points for the Championship.

What do we know about Mugello?

Mugello is effectively a new circuit for us. Some teams used to test there several years ago, but the cars are very different now and there won’t be much from previous running that is very relevant to this weekend. The circuit has mainly medium and high-speed corners, some very fast, but also a long straight, so the choice of downforce level will be a compromise between the two. The best overtaking opportunity will be at Turn 1, as the straight is so long, although that corner is not very slow, so it won’t necessarily be easy.

How will the team prepare for learning a new circuit?

Our priorities for the first part of the weekend will be to give the drivers time to get up to speed on the new circuit, to dial in the setup as we learn the details of the track, and to understand the behaviour of the tyres. We have the three hardest compounds as this circuit is likely to be quite severe. It’s the first of several circuits that we have not been to for a few years, so it’s an interesting new challenge.

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