Chief race engineer for Renault DP World F1 Team, Ciaron Pilbeam, is relaxed heading into the Styrian Grand Prix this weekend, as the majority of the necessary planning has been done in advance, ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend.
Speaking about how the team go about preparing for double-header races at the same venue, Pilbeam said: “It’s going to be quite different. On a normal Friday, all teams follow a similar routine, aiming to cover three main priorities: understanding the tyres over short and long runs, working on the car setup and assessing any development items you might have on the car.
“This weekend we already have a good understanding of the tyres, and there will not be many major development items since the races are only a few days apart. That allows us to focus on refining some aspects of setup that we would not normally be able to do.
“Our priorities will change a bit and be geared towards more specific things we want to improve. It’s going to be like an extra test but with fewer tyres available!”
Pilbeam said they will be able to use this to their advantage, as there were things which they chose not to focus on last weekend as it was the opening race of the season, with this race giving them a chance to explore those possibilities.
“There are things last weekend that we chose not to explore on Friday as it was the first race. Therefore, there will be more of an opportunity this weekend to follow up those ideas. It’s a rare opportunity as we’ve never had two races in two weeks held on the same circuit.”
He went on to say there will be a difference with the next two races at Silverstone as the same tyre compounds are not available.
“Looking ahead, Silverstone’s two races will be a little different as the tyre compounds are not all the same between the two rounds.”
He thinks that changeable weather may mix things up in the race, something they also experienced last weekend.
“The forecast this week does look quite unstable and it is likely to be wet at some points of the weekend. In the build up to last week’s race we experienced a couple of thunderstorms and heavy downpours right up until Friday’s first practice. It then changed and became dry but it could be interesting if we see some rain this weekend,” he concluded.