Christian Blum, the Renault engine team’s test team manager, explains that there’s no rest for the wicked – even after an historic one-two in Malaysia…
Christian, what has been the test team’s verdict on the opening races of the season?
“We are delighted with the results, but it hasn’t come as a big surprise to us. We worked very hard this winter to get the most out of every running day, and we knew that the new car had lots of potential. The first races confirmed it. We were quite frustrated after Bahrain because of the problem on Fisico’s car, because we should have dealt with it during our test programme. But seeing him on the top step of the podium last weekend, leading a one-two finish for the team, made up for it.”
What will be the team’s approach to this week’s test session?
“Above all, we will be busy! We haven’t had time to properly enjoy the success, because we’re back at the track with a lot of work to do – particularly in April. It is a critical point for us. Even though we have a small advantage at the moment, we know this is the time when we need to be working hardest.
After a tough winter, that’s not always straightforward, but everybody is very motivated. The test team is working flat out, and we need to maintain our concentration because this is the moment when we can make a real difference.”
What is your programme this week?
“As soon as the championship begins, our running is limited by a testing agreement that restricts us to 36 days during the season. That means we must make sure that every day of running is as efficient as possible. This week, we are working on the start of the European season, and particularly tyre testing for the San Marino GP. Heikki will be running for three days in a new chassis, R26-04, and he will also run a number of set-up programmes.”
Renault F1 Team