Heikki, you tested for two days in Jerez. How did it go?
“The first day was really just about acclimatising to the car with the simulated V8 power, and making some set-up changes to get the handling right for me. On Thursday, I did a long tyre programme, the car worked well and the tyres seemed good. Michelin brought quite different products to Barcelona, and we found some interesting things. I think I had a good first session as an official driver with the F1 team.”
How did you find it to be driving with the V8 power levels?
“We worked with the set-up to adjust the car, and found some good things that were better with this power level, in terms of how we prepare the car. The programme gave us a lot of good data for the new car, so that the team knows what to expect when the R26 runs for the first time.”
Finally, you have stepped from a GP2 car into a Formula 1 car. How big a jump is it?
“It is still a big step up from GP2. Maybe we have less power than before in the F1 car, but don’t be mistaken: driving a Formula 1 car is never easy! To find the last tenths of a second it just as tough as it has always been. What’s more, with less power I think it makes it more difficult: you can’t make so many mistakes because it costs you even more time, and that makes the driver’s job even more challenging.”
Renault F1 Team