Japan Preview Quotes: Renault

Q. Fernando, looking at the Japanese Grand Prix - is it just another race, or the start of a new era for you?

FA: Both, I think. I expect there will be a lot of attention, a lot of questions, a lot of cameras when we get there. But when I get in the car, then I will be working like normal. We have a race to do, and another championship to win. I believe the truth is that we have been the best in this 2005 season, and I will be working at full power now, with Fisi, to win the constructors' title too. I think we can do it.

Q. Do you enjoy Suzuka?

FA: Oh yes, I always enjoy Japan. It is very technical and complex, and all the drivers feel very good there - there are lots of high speed corners, and that is a big challenge. It is very complicated for the engineers as well, and getting the set-up right is a good challenge for them. Plus we always enjoy the weekend because there are so many fans there supporting F1, which means we have a great atmosphere.

Q. There is always the risk of bad weather - last year, we had a typhoon...!

FA: That's not a problem. We saw already in Spa that the tyres are fantastic this year, and we managed the whole race there with the same type of tyre. It started wet, it was dry at the end, and the tyres were working well. Bad weather could be a key part of the weekend, but with Michelin tyres, we are ready for any challenge. They have done a fantastic job this year.

Giancarlo Fisichella

Q. Fisico, how did things go for you in Brazil?

GF: Obviously, it was a great weekend for the team, with Fernando's win: I helped him celebrate late into the night! But from my point of view, it was a tough afternoon on Sunday. The car had oversteer from the start, and it was hard work with that and the tyres to get a good pace all the way through the race. In the end, I think the best I could have finished was fourth, so we only lost one point, but it definitely wasn't as good as I had hoped on Saturday night.

Q. So what about Japan - it is a big battle for the constructors' title

GF: Yes, it will be a big fight. Japan is another really great circuit, with a very challenging first sector and lots of long left-hand corners that can be hard for the neck. You need a good engine because there are a few long flat out sections, good downforce and good traction to get speed out of the last corner and over the start-finish line.

Q. Will you enjoy the weekend?

GF: For sure we are not at McLaren's level in terms of pure speed, but we are closer. I have a great feeling at this circuit, because it is one of my favourite tracks, and the fans are fantastic. I have a fan club in Japan, who I will be seeing on Friday night, and that adds something special to the weekend as well. I am really looking forward to racing in Suzuka.

Bob Bell, Technical Director

Q. Bob, can you tell us about the atmosphere within the team at the moment?

BB: It is just fantastic. There was a great function at Enstone on Sunday, with 150 people watching the race, and the feeling spilled over into Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday... Morale is at an all-time high.

Q. Have people forgotten about the other championship?

BB: That is what has been interesting: there is no sign anybody is now thinking they can relax. We are determined to go win the constructors' title, to do whatever it takes, but also happy in the knowledge of what has already been achieved. There is a lightness to the approach, but it hasn't undermined our determination and resolve.

Q. Fernando was in the factory on Tuesday - that must have meant a lot!

BB: It did - it meant a huge amount to people. He came in earlier this year after the win in France, and that was really appreciated. It really is special for the people who don't get to travel to the races, and there was a fantastic atmosphere on Tuesday.

Q. Are there still technical developments coming on the car?

BB: We have got a suspension update in Japan, and some new aero parts - we are transferring things we find during the development of the R26 where possible. Of course, the main update to come is the E spec engine in China, which should be a good step forward.

Q. Will the team's approach change in the final races?

BB: I think our risk management may change a little, but not much. The reality is that the team which drops a race finish from either car in the last two races will probably lose the title. So we cannot afford to forget any of our attention to detail, or compromise our reliability in an attempt to be more aggressive on performance. But we will certainly push harder than we have in recent races.

Q. And how about Fernando? Surely he can drive differently now?

BB: Certainly I think he will be more aggressive in his driving style now - he won't be an easy man to overtake in Japan and China. But his real strength is that he is an intelligent guy, and knows when it is right and safe to push. He will carry on doing that, I am sure.

Q. What about Giancarlo - his result in Brazil seemed slightly lost amidst the celebrations...

BB: I don't think Fisi had a great race, but that happens sometimes. For whatever reason, the way the tyres performed during the race suited him less well than Fernando. But Fisi has clearly proved that he is as good as anybody on his day. His driver at Spa was stunning - he may have gone off, but he was really on it in the opening laps. He had a good race in Japan last year, and he will have a big role to play in these last races.

Q. Finally, the wind tunnel model of the R26 now sports a number '1' on its nose, painted on Sunday night - how is development going?

BB: It is progressing well. The project timing is on schedule. On the performance side, the stable aero regulations mean that gains are harder to find than they were this time last year, but the development is ticking along nicely.

Grapevine: Reports: Kimi-Ferrari Deal 'Done'
Previous article

Grapevine: Reports: Kimi-Ferrari Deal 'Done'

Next article

Grapevine: Williams Set to Side with Ecclestone

Grapevine: Williams Set to Side with Ecclestone
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Plus

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022
Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers Plus

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

As Sebastian Vettel’s Formula 1 career has come to a close, figuring out where he fits into the greatest of all time order is a tough and subjective call. With the aid of statistics, attributes and history, here’s how the four-time world champion stacks up in the debate

Formula 1
Nov 19, 2022