Allan McNish Q&A

Allan McNish is enjoying his new job as Renault's third driver, even if his role is restricted to two hours running on Friday morning. The team's good form is a sign that the team's decision to test had paid off, and McNish is clearly making a contribution. Spending the rest of the weekend as a spectator is not every driver's idea of fun, but he's building for the future. Adam Cooper spoke to the Scot in Interlagos.

Allan McNish Q&A

"Basically we had a gearbox problem not long after the start of the session. We were fortunate really in terms of where it was on the circuit. I was able to coast into the pitlane. They set about replacing it, as it was the T-car for the rest of the weekend. We got an installation lap in the end with about two minutes to go. There was no way I was going to be able to do anything meaningful in the session after that, so it was just a case of giving it a run. It was just torrential. It was a case of making it back to the pits rather than anything else!"

"Not really, because they've got to change the pedals and so on, and by the time they've done that you've not only lost one car, you've lost the other car as well. The reality of the situation is once you lose a car, that's that car gone, and you've got to try do everything with the other two. But I think we still gained, because of the weather. We'd did dry running that other people didn't get because of the rain."

"I think I'll really know when we get back to Europe. In these three races things have fallen into place a little bit more. Certainly I know from what we've been doing on a Friday morning that we can maybe expand it a little bit, and gain a wee bit more. We're getting more comfortable with it, so it's probably going to get more interesting. But the same fact stands, that at 10.30am you've got all your conclusions and ideas on what you would do to progress it, and you don't physically do it yourself."

"I'll never get used to it. You'll never like it. If you do get used to it, I suppose it's not a good thing!"

"There will be other tests."

"Not really. The flipside is that doing two hours every two weeks isn't keeping me up to date with everything. That defeats the purpose as well."

"The obvious fact is that situations like Malaysia where the cars are going well people are looking and want to understand why. I think there is a certain amount of reflection on what we do. It certainly keeps me in the eye, and I think it adds a dimension to my capabilities, insofar as things can be overshadowed quite easily. With regard to an actual F1 seat, who can tell? There might be a reducing number next year, there might be an increasing number. The thing you've got to do is be 100% ready if something becomes available. That's physically, mentally and everything. And I don't see a better way of doing it."

"You always do. You learn a lot with a different team. I've learned a helluva lot watching the way they do things here in comparison to before. It's the experience of the people and the way they work with what they have. From that point of view I'm still learning the team."

"It's funny because in Malaysia I enjoyed Friday more than Saturday, because Friday is a bit of a purists situation. In Brazil it was more of a lottery because of the weather, but usually it's the guy who goes out and nails it best. You could see the characteristics in their driving. You could see the ones that were a little bit cautious or the ones who were overdriving. It's a very, very good indication. I'm not that excited about Saturday, but speaking to somebody that watched Malaysia on TV they preferred Saturday, and there was still that anticipation about what's going to happen tomorrow now? It's a bit more of a Coronation Street! Different parts of it appeal to different people. But the main thing is it's got people looking at F1 again, and they've achieved half of the objective straight away. It's pretty much irrelevant whether it's due to the rain in Australia, the shunt in Malaysia, or the weather in Brazil, the fact that there are different people at the top of the timesheets is a good thing."

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