Nick Chester, the Chassis Technical Director for the Renault F1 Team, has acknowledged that the Austrian Grand Prix is going to be difficult for the team, due to the complexity of the circuit, with the high altitude also adding to the challenge of perfecting a car setup.
“The circuit is situated at around 700m altitude, so in comparison to recent races, it’s a bit harder on both the brakes and the engine. It’s the shortest lap of the year at around 64 seconds but, despite its length, it’s a tricky place to get right,” said Chester.
“It’s very power sensitive with three fairly long straights and therefore a big proportion of the lap is spent at full throttle. There is one slow speed corner but the rest are medium to high-speed and finding the right balance is a challenge.”
He added that tyres will once again be a concern for the team, as they were here last year and also last time out in France.
“Like last year, tyres will be a focus point in Austria. There was blistering in France, and Spielberg is a harder circuit for tyre management. It looks like it will be very hot this weekend, which could bring on blistering. We’ll be watching out for that during our long runs on Friday. The circuit also has some big kerbs too and those can certainly disturb the car.”
Chester said that the team will once again be running the upgrades which they brought for the French Grand Prix, with the car being set up in the same way, as back-to-back races leave little time for .
“It takes a bit of time to learn about new parts. They were broadly positive and we’ll run them again in Austria. Back to back races are always a challenge and the car will largely be what we ran in France.”