Renault’s Nick Chester: Montréal Track “One of the more challenging on the calendar”

by Paul Hensby

Nick Chester, Renault F1 Team’s Chassis Technical Director, says this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will be one of the most challenging events on the Formula 1 calendar, thanks to the compromise needed to be quick along the tracks long straights as well as its slow chicanes and tight hairpins.

Renault come into the weekend sitting eighth in the Constructors’ Championship after only three top ten finishes in the opening six Grand Prix, with Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg having scored two seventh place finishes and a ninth between them in that time.

This weekend sees Formula 1 arrive in North America for the first time in 2019, and Chester says it is important Renault find the perfect compromise between the significantly different parts of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve if they are to be a competitive entity this weekend.

“There are lots of elements about the circuit that make it one of the more challenging on the calendar,” said Chester.  “Montréal is a power sensitive circuit but there are lots of big stops over a short lap, so finding the right balance between drag and aero efficiency is key.

“There are some chicanes in the middle of long straights and riding the kerbs can shorten the lap further and improve lap time. We look carefully at ride and suspension to improve the kerb riding, but we were pretty good on this in Monaco so hopefully we can carry that forward.

“Montréal also has a relatively smooth surface that is low grip so getting the tyres to work well will be one of the major items on the job list during Friday practice.”

Chester said that Renault will be bringing updates to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve that will aid its mechanical and aerodynamic areas, but it will be important to get everything to work in harmony with everything else to ensure they come out on top of the ultra-close midfield battle.

“We have some aero and mechanical items coming through for Montréal,” revealed Chester.  “Our main focus will be concentrating on getting every different element to work in harmony – the midfield is so tight now that we need to maximise the overall performance.”

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