Renault’s Ciaron Pilbeam talks challenging starts and tyre compromise ahead of Brazilian Grand Prix

by Vince Pettit
Carlos Sainz Jr.

Looking ahead to the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix, Renault Sport Formula One Team Chief Race Engineer Ciaron Pilbeam has outlined the two main areas the competitors will need to focus on.

The Autódromo José Carlos Pace circuit features an undulating layout, including the fast sweeping start/finish straight, the nature of the slope can cause issues with the start of the race.

“The first few rows of the starting grid are on quite a steep uphill slope here, and the drivers have to hold the car on the brakes until the start, while going through the already complicated starting procedure.” said Pilbeam.

The team will be hoping to do better that 2017 when Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr. qualified eighth and ninth on the grid before dropping down to tenth and eleventh in the race.

Aside from the challenging start, as always tyres play an important part to the race strategy. Renault will bring two White Medium, three Yellow Soft, and eight Red Supersoft sets of tyres for Hülkenberg, while Sainz has opted for one more for the Soft compound in place of one Medium.

“The rear right tyre gets a hard time at this circuit as a result of the track layout, but Turns 11 and 12 are crucial if attacking or defending in the race, so there is a compromise between saving the right rear tyre and racing against cars ahead or behind.” adds Pilbeam.

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