Renault: 2008 German GP preview 

Written by David on July 14th, 2008 at 1:36 pmLast Update: July 14th, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Ing Renault R28 Side ViewQ. Nelson, the British Grand Prix was a mixed weekend. You qualified well, and raced strongly until your retirement. How do you look back on the race? Nelson Piquet: “I was obviously disappointed to retire from the race, especially from such a strong position with a car that was handling well. We were on course for a great result, but I went off in the heavy rain which flooded the circuit. Still, I take some positives from Silverstone because the car was good, we improved it throughout the weekend, and I qualified well inside the top ten, just behind Fernando.”

Q. Silverstone marked the half-way point of the season. What do you hope for from the second half of the year? Nelson Piquet: “For me personally the priority is to keep learning and improving as a driver. We have shown in the last two races how competitive the car is, and so we have to build on that and approach the coming races determined to score points so that we can improve our position in the championship. The European part of the season will take us to some tracks that I’ve raced at before, which should make things a bit easier.”

Q. Hockenheim is another familiar venue for you. Tell us about the circuit… Nelson Piquet: “It’s a fun track to drive and I’ve raced there at a few times before when I was in GP2, although it’s quite different in an F1 car. It’s a demanding circuit with several heavy braking zones and so you need a well balanced car that is stable under braking and which also has good traction and grip out of the slow corners. It’s quite a rewarding place to drive and, as we tested there last week, the car should be well sorted already when we start free practice on Friday.”

Q. What are your aims for this weekend? Nelson Piquet: “As always, we will be aiming for points. I’m very motivated for this race and really looking forward to racing in Germany. I expect the midfield battle to be incredibly tight once again, but, if we can reach Q3 in qualifying, I think that points will be a realistic target. The whole team is focussed and working hard for this coming weekend, and it would be great to reward everyone with a strong result. I will do everything I can to achieve that.”

Q. Fernando, the British Grand Prix took place in dreadful weather conditions, but you managed to score three points. What are your feelings after the race? Fernando Alonso: “I had said that when it rains, anything can happen, and that turned out to be the case. It was a difficult race, with changeable track conditions and we did not make the best choice in terms of tyres when I made my first stop. After that my tyres wore out quickly and controlling the car therefore became difficult, especially towards the end of the race. We probably could have had a better result, but in the end I scored three points, which is important for the team and the championship.”

Q. We’ve reached the mid-season point. How do you view the rest of the championship? Fernando Alonso: “It’s important for us to continue improving because we want to finish this season strongly and have some good races. At the moment we are not on terms with the leading teams, but we are moving in the right direction. The team is working hard and I will continue to give my maximum.”

Q. The German Grand Prix returns to Hockenheim this year. What are the challenges of the track? Fernando Alonso: “It’s a very physical track for the drivers. It can also be quite hot, which makes things difficult for the whole team. For the car, good straight-line speed is necessary, but not as much as it was in the past when the circuit was different. In the slow corners grip is always poor, but it is possible to make up for some of that with a good mechanical set-up and a car that is easy to drive. To be fast in Hockenheim, the right compromise is always difficult to find.”

Q. Do you think that the R28 will perform well in Hockenheim? Fernando Alonso: “We drove in Germany three days last week to improve the set-up of the car and so that we could approach the race in the best shape possible. The weather was mixed, but we were still able to complete our programme, and I think that we have a good basis to work from when we start free practice on Friday. The R28 has performed well on different types of circuit already this season, and we must concentrate on realising our potential this weekend.”

source: RenaultĀ 

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