Boullier: Renaults new F-duct could bring big gains 24 Aug 2010
One of this seasons most noteworthy innovations has been the F-duct and Renault plan to introduce their version at the forthcoming Belgian race. The system has looked promising in the factory, but team principal Eric Boullier cant wait to find out what gains will be made on track at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. Boullier discusses the F-duct, rookie driver Vitaly Petrov and his hopes for the remaining seven races
Q: Eric, lets look back on Budapest where both R30s qualified in the top ten and showed good pace over the weekend. Were you satisfied with the performance of the car?
Eric Boullier: It was very good to see the relative pace of the car and to see both drivers qualify in the top ten. However, the outcome of the race was a mixed one because we missed the chance to get both cars in the top six. Also, we are here to fight everyone and its clear that Red Bull are still much quicker than us. So we know that we still have a lot of hard work ahead to improve our pace if we want to fight with them.
Q: Vitaly Petrov finished fifth in Budapest, his best result in Formula One racing. You must have been very proud of his performance?
EB: The whole team was very happy with Vitaly and it was his best weekend so far. He and the team prepared the car well during free practice to be ready for qualifying, and then he had a faultless race. It was a complete weekend without any mistakes and I think this is as much as you can expect from a rookie driver.
Q: What will this result do for his confidence as we enter the final third of the season?
EB: Im sure it will give him a boost. Now its up to him to capitalise on this so that he can repeat this performance on a regular basis.
Q: One of the most significant updates of the season has been the blown floor. Do you feel the team is now able to extract the maximum performance from it?
EB: I think we still have some improvements to make in terms of the set-up on the car, but overall we are getting a considerable gain from running the blown floor. The drivers also seem happier with the balance of the car.
Q: The team will introduce their F-duct this weekend. How big a challenge has it been to introduce this device?
EB: It has been a huge challenge. To begin with we decided to focus our development on the blown floor and on other aero upgrades, which is why we are only introducing our F-duct in Spa. Its not an easy device to get right, but the one we have now looks promising in terms of the simulation results we have seen at the factory. But we still need to test it on the car, and this will be the priority on Friday. Its clear that Spa will be a circuit where the F-duct should bring big gains.
Q: Can we expect the R30 to be as strong at Spa as it was in Budapest?
EB: Lets say that on paper the F-duct should be a big step forward in terms of lap-time gain, so we are obviously keeping our fingers crossed that we can maintain the pace that we had in Budapest.
Q: Formula One racing has just come back from its summer break. Is the team feeling refreshed?
EB: I think that the development pace in Formula One is so intense these days that its a very sensible idea to give the team a break in the middle of the season. It means that everybody can come back ready to fight until the end of the season and push hard with our development for 2011.