Renault’s Nick Chester: “We’re in a good place heading to Spain”


Nick Chester believes the Renault Sport F1 team are ‘in a good place’ as they head to the Circuit de Catalunya for the Spanish Grand Prix on the back of the team’s first points of the season in Russia.

Kevin Magnussen’s seventh place finish at the Sochi Autodrom ended the team’s drought in their first season back in the sport after taking back control of the Enstone-based team from Lotus, and the Chassis Technical Director of Renault was happy with the straight-forward weekend in Russia following on from the vastly different and difficult Chinese Grand Prix.

“In China there were a lot of factors that worked against us and in contrast, in Russia there were a lot of factors that were beneficial to us,” revealed Chester. “It illustrated the importance of having a completely straight-forward weekend with no issues to deal with – whether in the practice sessions or in the race.

“Getting all the data from practice is important: we did that in Russia so our engineers were better placed to make the best set-up calls. On top of that we were able to show decent race pace and capitalise on the events around us in the race and get a strong result.

“Kevin drove a brilliant race with other cars breathing down his neck; he did everything he could and seventh was the result. On the other side of the garage, Jolyon [Palmer] was much happier with his car so we’re in a good place heading to Spain.”

Chester revealed that there would be updated front and rear wings for the Spanish Grand Prix, while the post-race test at the same circuit will see a whole host of new additions and modifications, including a trial of the new b-spec power unit.

“For the race we have an updated rear wing as well as some updates for the front wing,” said Chester. “For the test we have a full raft of things to try; new suspension, further aero updates over various areas of the car, some mods to cooling as well as evaluating the B-spec power unit, so we should have a full two days.

“We fared decently in relative terms at pre-season testing there and when you look at the qualities required for a handy car around the circuit there are no initial fears from our side. That’s not to say we wouldn’t welcome some more downforce, but there’s potential as we currently stand.”