Renault Chief Race Engineer Caron Pilbeam spoke about the lessons the team learned after the unsuccessful Turkish weekend, as well as the challenges to be tackled in Bahrain.
Q: It will be warmer in Bahrain than at several previous stages: what expectations do you have with this race?
Keron Pilbim: After racing on unfamiliar tracks, held in European autumn weather, we set off for Bahrain. We know better the autodrome in Sakhir, so both the drivers and the teams are quite clear about what to expect.
One of the features of the Bahraini weekend is that it runs on a somewhat unusual schedule: the first and third training sessions take place in the afternoon, when it is hottest, and the second session on Friday, qualification and race – in the late afternoon, when the track begins to cool down after sunset …
This significantly affects the level of grip and speed, which is why the second training session on Friday is the most important in terms of preparation, as it takes place in the same conditions as qualifying and racing.
Usually in Bahrain, rubber wear is quite high, because in some fast corners of the track the tires work with a lot of load. At the same time, good adhesion of the driving wheels to the asphalt is necessary at the exit from slow and medium-speed turns.
Q: What lessons did the team learn from the Turkish Grand Prix?
Keron Pilbim: Obviously, the results of this stage upset us greatly. It was accompanied by extremely difficult conditions, traction was very low, on Saturday and Sunday it was cold and rainy, and some other teams coped better than us.
Such conditions are rare, but we must fully take into account the lessons of the Turkish weekend, quickly forget about the disappointment and focus on the three remaining races of the season.
Question: How is the team going to fight for 3rd place in the Constructors’ Cup?
Keron Pilbim: After the race in Istanbul Park, Renault lost some ground in the Constructors’ Cup, while our closest rivals earned a lot of points, and now the task is to win back. However, the third place is still within reach, so we need to quickly return to the previous form, which we demonstrated before the Turkish stage.