Renault Sport Formula One Team‘s Chassis Technical Director Nick Chester says the team will introduce a new floor update, in a hope to boost their performance at the Russian Grand Prix.
The Sochi Autodrom will host the next round of the Formula 1 World Championship, as the series will enter the final six races of the year.
The 3.6 mile circuit presents technical and challenging corners over a lap, and will require high level amount of downforce to tackle some of the corners, like the infamous Turn 3. A left hander that the drivers will take full throttle whilst turning.
Renault’s Nick Chester says the circuit has an interesting mix of character to the circuit with a smooth surface, which he believes could create a challenge to get the tyres working.
“It’s quite an interesting mix,” said Chester. “The tarmac is quite smooth which means it can be quite difficult to generate enough grip, so getting the tyres working properly can be a challenge.
“You need a medium to high level of downforce, but there are some straights as well so you can’t put too much wing on or you’ll suffer on the straights. It’s quite a big power track as the straights are quite reasonable in length and that requires a lot of acceleration.
“The trick is trying to get the car working on the smooth tarmac, generating a good level of grip as well as getting the car well balanced for the numerous traction events for stability into corners with good traction out whilst managing the understeer in the middle. There’s plenty to consider!”
Renault will introduce an update to their floor for the weekend, similar to the upgrade they brought back at the Belgian Grand Prix. At Singapore, the team introduced new bargeboards and sidepods, which Chester says they worked as expected.
“We have floor updates for Sochi; this is an evolution from the update we saw in Spa and this should give us a small gain.
“We ran updated bargeboards and sidepod vanes in Singapore and they behaved as expected, so we will use these again in Russia.”
Free Practice 1 of the Russian Grand Prix will see Renault’s test and development driver Artem Markelov take the wheel of the R.S.18 for the first time in an F1 weekend.
The Russian will also be on duty in FIA Formula 2 in Russian Time as he hopes to keep alive his championship chances in the series.
Chester says that Artem has been a positive addition to the team since joining at the beginning of the year, stating that he deserves the opportunity to drive around his home track in an F1 car.
“Artem is doing well in Formula 2 and he’s had some very good results. He deserves this opportunity, so it will be interesting to see what he can do in the car,” Chester commented.
“He’s been a positive addition to the team in his role so far this season. He makes a solid contribution to what we’re doing.”