Renault Sport F1 Team Japanese Grand-Prix preview

Renault Sport F1 Team Japanese Grand-Prix preview

03.10.2017: FORMULA 1 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX Foreword from Renault Sport Racing Managing Director, Cyril Abiteboul

FORMULA 1 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX




Foreword from Renault Sport Racing Managing Director, Cyril Abiteboul


Suzuka is one of the most iconic and unique circuits in Formula 1, and we love racing there. Japan is the final race of the East Asian triple-header before the last stretch.



On a brief reflection of Malaysia, it is safe to say we leave there feeling disappointed. It was a very tough weekend and we couldn’t quite make the car work as we have in previous races.



The first lap put us on the back foot and both cars failed to work their way up into the points. We tried an aggressive strategy with Nico, but that gamble didn’t pay off. Jolyon had a couple of spins late on and lost some positions. It’s one of those weekends we are keen to brush aside. We are fortunate that the Japanese Grand Prix comes soon after so we can make a swift return to where we are.



On a brighter note, it was great to see our partner team Red Bull Racing taking victory with the Renault power unit.



Suzuka is a favourite for the drivers due to the unique challenge it offers and its fast bends. It’s a well-balanced track, not too power sensitive, so we think we can be competitive there. Back-to-back races are always challenging, but it means we head to Japan determined to return to the points.



We will have some aero upgrades in Suzuka which we hope will bring performance and so points. They are essential if we are to reach our end of season objective of fifth in the Constructors’ Championship.




Tooth and nail



Suzuka throws up a special challenge for both car and driver as Technical Director Bob Bell explains.




What’s the outlook heading to Suzuka?



It’s a challenging track and a Grand Prix which always produces exciting racing. The circuit is a mix of low and high-speed corners and frequent changes of direction such as the S bends. It should suit the R.S.17; speed-wise it’s a bit like Spa and Silverstone where we went well. We head to Japan feeling hungry and positive. We want to get over the disappointment of Sepang as rapidly as possible.




Any caveats to the positive outlook?



Japan is a venue where you never quite know what you’re likely to get with the weather. We have seen numerous wet races in Suzuka across the years and even some more extreme weather too.



However, if we look at our recent wet weather performance, we can see that we struggled a bit in Monza on the Intermediates, but we weren’t bad in the Wets in Singapore. We’re making progress and learning how to handle different conditions.



In summation, we don’t go to Japan with many major concerns. We need to keep working on our reliability as we have the pace in the car to meet our objectives, it’s more a case of getting the car across the line with both drivers.




What went wrong in Sepang?



It came as a wake-up call. We realised on Friday the car wasn’t on the pace as both drivers weren’t happy with the balance. We were encouraged that we made some changes before qualifying and it was there or thereabouts.



 But lots of things went wrong in the race, most notably at the start and thereon it was difficult to close the gap back. It's complex to analyse but, with decent starts and in maximising opportunities points would always have been possible. We will use lessons learnt to do better in Suzuka.


Track Notes:

Suzuka is one of the legendary circuits in Formula 1, famed for its frequent fast, sweeping corners. The S bends in sector one, and the flat-out 130R in sector three are standouts around the 5.807km circuit which hosted its first Grand Prix in 1987.



 53 laps on race day will be a tough, physical test for the drivers with the often unpredictable weather sure to throw up some surprises.



T1/2 – Turn 1 is a very fast corner with light braking required in preparation for the slower Turn 2.


T3-6 - S Curves. Understeer needs to be minimised for the constant change of direction through the fast S Curves, with a well-balanced car maintaining the speed.


T8/9 - Two tricky turns make up the Degner Curves. The first is short and narrow with a cautious approach required thanks to the inner kerb, to which drivers need to get as close as possible without making contact. The second has very little run-off, so mistakes can be costly.


T11 – Heavy braking into the hairpin as drivers take a wide line and search for good traction on the cambered exit.


T13/14 - Understeer saps speed through the Spoon Curve and so needs to be minimised, with a fast exit necessary onto the following straight.


T15 - 130R is flat out, but more difficult when the cars are heavy with fuel.


T16 – Heavy on the brakes for the chicane leading into the final turn. Easy to lock-up here and compromise the lap.




Power Unit Notes:


Suzuka is one of the toughest circuits of the year for the ICE. The sustained bursts of throttle test the internals’ strength, while the heavy braking events challenge reactivity and reliability.



Over 65% of the lap is taken at full throttle, but the majority of this comes in the second half of the track from the exit of the Spoon corner (Turn 14) to the chicane on the entry of the pit straight. This includes a pass through the 130R, which is taken at over 300kph despite being a flowing left hand bend.



With a top speed peaking at almost 330kph, Suzuka gives rise to one of the highest speed seen in the second part of the year. Inside the ICE the pistons will turn at an incredible 200 times per second, generating enormous internal forces.



The second slowest corner is the chicane, which is taken at approximately 80kph. This is the best chance to recover energy through the MGU-K as the cars approach at well over 310kph.



Braking down to under 100kph generates huge amounts of heat and energy in the brakes. At this point there is even excess energy that engineers are not allowed to recover as a result of the regulations.

 


Tyres: Takeshi’s Castle


Medium (white) – Stepping stone – It’s either slow and steady or a fast blast.

Soft (yellow) – High Rollers – Better to go quick on these.

Super-soft (red) – Bridge Ball – Everyone’s favourite, but comes at a price.




In Numbers:


6,852 – Japan is made up of 6,852 islands

17 – Japan consumes around 17m tons of fish every year

18 - Trains in Japan are one of the most punctual in the world with average delays of 18 seconds.






- Renault Sport F1  also photos

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/renault-sport-f1-team-japanese-gp---168861.html

03.10.2017 / MaP

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