Mike Gascoyne Q&A

Renault has given the Sepang paddock a surprise by putting both cars on the front row for tomorrow's Malaysian GP, fine performances from Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli making the most of a very strong package. The cars had been quick in every session and the team benefited from the priceless extra running in Friday's two-hour test in which the two race drivers and Allan McNish logged 127 laps before the serious opposition set foot on the track. Will that form be carried over into the race? Adam Cooper asked technical director Mike Gascoyne for his thoughts

Mike Gascoyne Q&A



"It's more valuable than we thought. We'd made our tyre choice by Friday morning. In Melbourne there were a lot of different tyres - Michelin brought five - but here everyone's got predominantly the same tyres. The softer tyre, which we hadn't done a lot of running on, was from the Jerez test last week. We did a clear back to back, it was quicker, and for us it was very consistent. So we had no worries. So from the long runs we did on Friday morning, we decided the tyre was fine. I think some of the others have had to take the harder tyre. Our chassis doesn't use up its tyres."



"I think they struggled to get a balance on it, whereas we did 40 extra laps with each driver, and if you count the total number of laps people have done, that's a helluva lot. I think we've attacked that session properly, three cars, experienced test driver, and we've maximised everything from it. But we've been top six all weekend, and we were top six or eight all through Melbourne, and we got qualifying wrong. We expected to be top six here, but both our drivers did mega laps. If you watch it back, you'll see Rubens make a little mistake, Raikkonen make a mistake... Our two guys didn't. I think the pace of the car is probably second or third row, but they pulled it out of the bag."



"We were rather hoping that the cloud cover was going to come a bit earlier for our guys, and whether that's good or bad, who knows."



"We didn't go out to be on the front row. We were on the optimum strategy. We're a proper racing team, and you're only going to get results if you do the right strategy. If we're on the right strategy, and we win the race, that's it. It's one of those things. Michael can sit there and think 'they're going to peel off into the pits after 10 laps and do three stops.'



"Yes, maybe they'll say 'they're doing this or doing that,' and they're not necessarily going to get it right. Isn't that what the rules are meant to bring into it? You don't know. They're all going to be going, 'Renault aren't going to do it.' Well, what if we do?"



"It's all high speed corners. There are a couple of long straights, but this is more of a handling circuit. If the engine is not the best, what you don't what is stop-start. You don't want chicane, drag, chicane, drag, chicane, drag. The chassis can make up for it in high-speed corners. One of the circuits where everyone says the engine will hurt you is Monza. But there you've got quick corners, and you can make up for it with a good chassis. Canada is dreadful. Here we've been really quick in T2, but we've struggled in T1 [mostly tight corners]. Really we were surprised we were as competitive as we were in Melbourne, qualifying apart, so coming here, we were confident."



"I think they are both excellent. Anyone who wanted to know why we picked Fernando over Jenson, I don't think that question is going to be asked any more. He answered that in the opening laps in Melbourne, but he's done it again today. They work very well together, and you saw it in the press conference today. Unlike the Button/Villeneuve thing, they get on very well, and they actually help each other, but they know when they get in the car that the other bloke is bloody quick, and they really have to pull their finger out. Credit to Jarno, because he saw Fernando do that lap, and he went out there and matched it, and didn't put a foot wrong. Great effort."



"We're going to try to win the race. Front row is where you want to be, and our starts haven't been the worst in the world over the last year, we're on what we think is the quickest strategy. We now just want a nice standard race with no rain, and two cars on the podium."



"McLaren ran this tyre in Jerez. Ron said we're the track cleaners for him, but basically he's our two-car tyre test team, and tyre testing costs a lot more than track cleaning does!"

shares
comments
Alonso 'Dreaming' after Record Pole Position

Previous article

Alonso 'Dreaming' after Record Pole Position

Next article

Alonso thrilled and surprised by pole

Alonso thrilled and surprised by pole
Load comments
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021