Q & A with Renault's Bob Bell
|Tuesday, October 27th 2009, 11:18 GMT|
Conducted and provided by Renault's press office.
Q. Bob, how disappointing was the race in Brazil?
Bob Bell: It was very frustrating to lose Fernando from the race through no fault of his own, although we have to be grateful that he didn't have a bigger accident with the Force India. We also have to be grateful that we didn't get incinerated on the pit wall as we felt the heat from the fireball in the pit lane!
Romain simply didn't have the pace in the early part of the race as he wasn't happy with the grip of the car, which cost him a lot of ground. So the weekend didn't meet our expectations, especially as we lost our advantage over BMW and we now face an uphill struggle to beat them in the final race.
Q. A new venue awaits Formula One this weekend - what are you expecting from Abu Dhabi?
BB: I think all the teams enjoy visiting a new country and a new track always has a modern infrastructure with so much space available for the mechanics and engineers. It remains to be seen how good the circuit will be in terms of the action it produces, but from what I've seen so far it seems the organisers have done an excellent job. As a team we enjoy the challenge of a new track and we will be ready to exploit any advantage we can.
Q. What's a realistic target for this weekend?
BB: It would be great to get Romain and Fernando through to Q3 in qualifying so that we have some reasonable starting positions for the race. We want to be challenging for points and even the podium, which is a realistic target considering the performance level we have already demonstrated this season.
Q. Renault says goodbye to Fernando this weekend. How much will the team miss him?
BB: He's made a huge contribution to the team, especially winning two world championships in 2005 and 2006 so he will be missed enormously. It's often said that he is the best driver on the grid and I wouldn't disagree with that so we're understandably sad to see the end of our very successful relationship.
But we're also looking forward and we're all delighted to be welcoming Robert Kubica to the team as I believe he will quickly show that he is of the same calibre as Fernando. He's a strong team player, a great motivator and incredibly quick so we have plenty to look forward to as we enter a new era for the team.