Q and A with James Allison, Renault F1 Two podiums in a row for LRGP – you must be a happy man? I’m happy for the entire team. It’s been a mega effort and I feel we’ve really got the most out of the car in the last two races. Also, the car has scored podiums on two very different tracks and has performed well in the temperate conditions of Melbourne and the heat of Sepang. It all bodes well for the season ahead.
We saw the R31 demonstrate good race pace in Sepang – arguably stronger than its qualifying pace – what is you verdict? We’ve seen that twice now. It was a characteristic of last year’s car that it performed well on high fuel and the same seems to be true of the R31. But we still have work to do on both qualifying and race pace before we can call ourselves properly competitive.
The race in Sepang was full of action, largely due to the tires and the impact of the DRS. How was it from the pit wall? Calling a race like that is a very difficult job for our Strategist and Chief Engineer. To get all the major decisions right is really challenging, and I’m glad that I don’t have to do it! It was good to see lots of overtaking and I think the FIA got the DRS settings just about right in Sepang. For China, they will need to choose the DRS activation point carefully because the DRS straight is around three hundred meters longer compared to Sepang.
What are your expectations for China? Will be LRGP fighting at the front once again? I certainly hope so and it’s a circuit that should suit our car. We brought a reasonable upgrade package to Malaysia and will have some more aero tweaks for China.
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