Renault’s Bob Bell: “We will be working on fine-tuning the car”

by Paul Hensby

Bob Bell feels Pirelli’s choices of tyre for the Malaysian Grand Prix are perhaps a step too hard, but the Renault Sport F1 Chief Technical Officer knows they will have to adapt to the conditions with the compounds available.

With the Sepang International Circuit having been resurfaced ahead of the 2016 race, Bell thinks it will be a smooth ride for drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer on a track that braking stability and traction are as important as high speed balance.

“Sepang is a modern circuit with a mix of high and low speed sections where a reasonable high speed balance is required, but at the same time low speed braking stability and traction are equally important as well,” said Bell.

“Traditionally, it has been a track that’s very smooth which obviously helps with ride. The circuit has been resurfaced which hopefully will make it even better. We’ll discover the new surface when we get there in a few days’ time.

“Pirelli have allocated the hard, medium and soft compounds in Malaysia which is probably a bit on the harder side than what we’d prefer but let’s see how they will fare.

“It tends to be one of those circuits where we will be working on fine-tuning the car as it isn’t a track that requires an extreme set-up focusing on any particular challenge.”

On the back of Magnussen’s top ten finish in Singapore, Bell reveals they will continue to develop their current car ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix, with the developments with on the car being made with one eye on their 2017 machine.

“We still continue to work on development in Malaysia, a carry-on from what we’ve done in Singapore and some of that is relevant for next year,” said Bell. “Next year, of course, there are big changes coming into force with completely different aero packages, so it’s more the direction of the concepts rather than the physical changes we make to this year’s car.

“Back at the factories, we are meeting milestone deadlines with the practical process of drawing the components, getting them made and bringing them together. This is a very involved and complex process and is largely on-track at the moment. The hunt for performance in those components continues unabated!”

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