2011 FORMULA1 EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX
• VALENCIA, 24th – 26TH JUNE 2011 •
• NICK: “Valencia track will be faster than Monaco, slower than Canada” • • Vitaly: “My target is points, points and more points” • • Eric Boullier: “We are definitely back on track” • • James Allison: “New top rear wing will offer better overtaking potential” •
Q&A: Nick Heidfeld
Lotus Renault GP • Race Driver • Car 9
“The Valencia track will be faster than Monaco, slower than Canada” After luck deserted him in Montreal, Nick discusses his intent on putting things right in Valencia
“It was a good STEP forward to have both cars qualifying in the top ten”
You must be disappointed after Montreal – was it just a case of bad luck? Yes, I think it was bad luck. I have put it behind me now, but it is difficult to know what could have been done differently. When the incident happened, I was behind Kamui (Kobayashi) and he suddenly slowed down instead of accelerating which would be the normal action at this part of the track. Of course then I couldn’t avoid him and went into the back of his car, my front wing came off and unfortunately my race reached its end. These things happen from time to time, it was just unlucky that it took place when we were in such a strong position fighting for high-end points.
Despite the disappointment, there were positive signs for the team throughout the weekend – what can you draw from the experience? Overall, it was definitely a positive weekend for us, especially if you look at the preceding race in Monaco. It was a good step forward to have both cars qualifying in the top ten, and then to have Vitaly
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scoring 10 points too. Before I went out (of the race), I was driving well. It was important for the team to come away from Canada understanding some of the problems we encountered in Monaco, and I think we have clear proof that we did exactly that. We now know which direction we need to take, and it is obvious the team started doing that during the two-week spell between Monaco and Montreal. These things don’t magically happen overnight, but we have done a good job in analysing where we need to improve. In addition, the pit wall team made the right decisions over the weekend to put us in a strong fighting position.
Valencia is another street circuit – what are your views on this track?
It’s another street circuit but different to both Monaco, which is a proper street circuit, and Canada which is more of a high speed street circuit. This is a different type of track, faster than Monaco, slower than Canada. I think it will also require the car to be set-up with a bit more downforce than we needed in Montreal. It’s a
reasonably recent race to join the F1 calendar but I’ve been there before so we will see how we get on.
Four more races until the August break, what’s your target for these?
Well, we will take it one race at a time. Firstly, our thoughts are very much on Valencia and this is our priority for now. I always want to get the maximum out of the car and each situation. I am sure I’ll be able to fight for a strong points finish here.
Seven races into the 2011 campaign, do you feel this season has been particularly exciting for F1 fans? On one hand, yes but on the other hand, no. The races have been very exciting in terms of overtaking and unpredictability, so in that sense the sport has been more of a spectacle. However, if you look at the lead Sebastian (Vettel) has in the Drivers’ Standings then it is not much of a fight at the moment. From that side of things it is quite one-sided. But, this could change very quickly and it will be interesting to see what happens when the rules on the exhaust systems are altered.
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Q&A: Vitaly Petrov
Lotus Renault GP • Race Driver • Car 10
“My target for the COMING races is points, points, and more points” With ten more points to his name in Montreal, Vitaly is looking to Valencia to improve upon his seventh position in the Drivers’ Standings Sitting nicely in the Drivers’ Standings after 10 more points in Montreal – were you happy with your race there?
First Monaco, then Montreal – both races were eventful for different reasons. Does the unpredictability keep you challenged?
I would have to say 50/50. We were expecting to be a little bit higher in qualifying, but I think we had some bad luck during the session so our performance was lower than hoped for. The race itself was not easy because both Nick and I were on different car set-ups. I had less downforce in my set-up, and I think that if I’d had more (downforce) I would have had a stronger race. Personally, I think I could have pitted a little earlier so strategically we could maybe have done it even better I think, but this is only my personal opinion. We finished fifth, took some points from the race but I know we did not fully capitalise on the situation.
Yes, it does, and these races add to your experience as a driver. It is a challenging season with a variety of circuits and, as a team, we are really amongst it and fighting for the high-end points. The season is a long one, but we need to focus, work hard and above of all have the right strategy. We’ve been spot on most of the time in this area this season and we need to keep up the good work. Strategy, strategy, strategy!
You finished 14th at the European Grand Prix last year – what’s your impression of the track?
It’s the third consecutive street circuit race, so we are getting used to these types of venues! I actually have very good
“ It’s the third consecutive street circuit race, so we are getting used to these types of venues!”
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memories of racing in Valencia because I won here three times when competing in the GP2 series. I haven’t made my mark here yet in Formula 1 but this year I’m much more prepared.
Seven races into the season, are you satisfied with how things have gone? I think we can do much, much more. I know I’ve said that before but I really believe we can. We’ve had good results, but together we can achieve greater things. Sometimes I’ve made mistakes, sometimes our pit stops could have been improved, but generally I think we can take it up a level. We need to minimise the mistakes, and the points will keep on coming.
Four more races until the summer break – what is your target for these?
My target for the coming races is points, points and more points. It would be much better to take our summer break in the knowlegde that we had scored some well-deserved points in the lead-up to it. Valencia’s a circuit I know very well so I think I have an advantage going into the race. I’m feeling pretty good heading into the next four events.
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Team Principal and Managing Director
A wORD WITH THE BOSS
After a memorable race in Montreal, Eric looks to the European Grand Prix – the third consecutive street circuit on the F1 calendar
It was an unpredictable race in Montreal – F1 is proving quite an exciting spectacle at the moment…
“we are fighting for the top six, and I’m convinced things will get even better in Valencia”
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It was completely unusual to have such a deluge but, as we thought it would be, the race was very exciting and a fantastic spectacle until the very last lap. There’s no doubt we could have had a better result and seeing Nick collide with Kamui was not pleasant. I am obviously happy for Vitaly who had another strong weekend.
You have talked before about fans being the future of the sport – do eventful races of the kind we saw in Monaco and Montreal help boost its popularity? Firstly, it is always so refreshing to meet the fans, and it motivates you to do your job even better when you see them at the race tracks. Monaco is a very special race for the sport and Montreal is a city that breathes F1; the entire city was completely decorated for Grand Prix week. These two venues alone are great evidence of F1’s global popularity. In addition, we had two very eventful races, which help the sport even more – dramatic, exciting races are what fans want to see. While
I was in Montreal, I took part in the FOTA fans forum and I was delighted that FOTA could organise a straightforward debate with fans. The forum turned out to be very interesting and constructive. I think we should continue to thank all the fans for their great support and commitment to these types of discussions, and to the sport as a whole.
Does what you saw in the last race demonstrate that LRGP’s season is getting back on track?
Yes, definitely. Obviously we are still struggling a bit in qualifying – we need to be higher up on the starting grid – but we are fighting for the top six, and I’m convinced things will get even better in Valencia.
What are the key aspects the team has focused on in the lead-up to Valencia to ensure it remains competitive? We have made a lot of technical tweaks to the car, a number of which came as a result of understanding our lack of qualifying performance. If you add to these a couple of upgrades, we should be able to take a strong step forward.
It’s another street circuit – how will this track suit the R31? It is beneficial for the sport to have these street circuits, as it provides a contrast from some of the purpose built tracks. The track will suit us well and we expect to be fighting for places on the front three rows come Sunday’s starting grid.
Four more races until the mid-season break – what are you expecting the team to achieve in this time?
We need another podium or two in this time to cement our position amongst the grid’s elite teams, and to remain competitive ahead of Mercedes GP whose season has clearly improved. Retaining our position in the top four in the Constructors’ Championship is an absolute priority for us, and we must continue to lay down the marker over the next four races.
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“The new top rear wing will offer better overtaking potential during the race” James Allison looks at the return to Europe, where the medium tyre compound will be making its race debut
What are the key challenges in Valencia?
and offer better overtaking potential during the race.
Valencia is dominated by low speed corners. Although there are a couple of fast corners, they are normally taken flat out so the challenge, therefore, is to get the car working well in slow corners. Furthermore, as this will be the first opportunity to run the new medium tyre compound in a Grand Prix, it will be important to get settled on it quickly and to establish a good race setup with it.
We were not very happy with the performance of the car on either the full wet or the intermediate tyres. However, once we got on to the dry tyres at the end of the race we looked much more in the hunt and were able to make inroads on all but the top two cars.
Valencia has not seen the greatest amount of overtaking in previous races – should this year be different?
How do you evaluate the performance of the R31 in wet and variable conditions at the Canadian GP?
Nick and Vitaly both looked very strong in Montreal – how difficult is it to make strategy calls in conditions like those experienced there?
time as there is a degree of luck involved. All that Alan Permane (Chief Engineer) and Matthieu Dubois (Strategist) can do is to hope to have a good batting average. Thankfully they are pretty reasonable at it, and at the last race they made another set of decent calls to leave us well placed to capitalise on very difficult circumstances.
We’re now back in Europe for the next six races – how does this affect the development programme?
Europe or flyaway races do not really have an impact on the development programme these days. We push as hard as we can from the first race to the last, and we will try to bring new performance to each and every race in the championship. We have a more efficient rear wing for Valencia, and we are looking to ensure that we make as good a job as possible of coping with the impending changes to the blown floor engine mapping.
I would expect it to be different this year, yes. The straight is long enough for DRS to function and there is likely to be a reasonably different level of performance from the two tyre compounds. This will lead to plenty of overtaking.
We looked OK on the dry tyres, but while on the wet weather rubber we were kept in the race as a result of a good reading of the rain radar and good strategy calls. In changeable conditions like we saw there, it is extremely difficult to make the correct decisions all the
As always, there will be a host of aero updates. The most significant of these will be a new top rear wing with a bigger DRS switching effect. This will bring outright lap time in qualifying
“this will be the first opportunity to run the new medium tyre compound in a Grand Prix”
What evolutions and modifications are planned for the car?
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“We push as hard as we can from the first race to the last, and we will try to bring new performance to each and every race in the championship”
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Because of the moveable bridge there is a small gap, but this does not affect the cars.
VALENCIA A set-up guide 1. ENGINE
Good traction is required for Valencia as there is a lot of accelerating out of low speed corners. This puts a reasonable demand on the engine, but is also an area where smooth pickup and how the engine delivers its power is important.
Good change of direction and traction required through turns three to five.
There are reasonably high demands on the brakes but not as high as we saw in Canada. The brakes need to be progressive to enable the drivers to avoid flat spotting their tyres, especially early in the running when the track is at its dirtiest.
Turn two can get crowded on the first lap, with heavy braking on cold tyres.
You need a soft car rear to maximise traction out of low speed corners, and a front suspension which works well in the low speed corners and does not encourage understeer with high steering angles.
One of the fastest corners on the track, taken at approaching 300kph. Maximum requirement for downforce here to get the best grip from the tyres.
2 3 4
TURNs 12+ 13
One of the fastest sections of the track leading into the one of the slowest corners. Easy to flat spot tyres here, especially early in the running when the track is at its dirtiest.
6 5 5. TYRES
This will be the first time that the combination of medium and soft Pirelli tyres has been used. The medium compound is quite hard for a street course and there is likely to be a lack of grip, particularly early in the running when the circuit is very dirty and green from lack of use.
4. REAR WING
Valencia is a street course, but it does not require maximum downforce such as one would see in Monaco or Singapore. It does, however, require more downforce than Montreal. Set-up is a compromise between low levels of drag, to maximise speed on the straights, and sufficient downforce to allow the many corners to be taken as fast as possible.
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Another fast section of the track leading into the one of the slowest corners.
6. FRONT WING
More downforce is required than in Montreal last time out, but not as much as for a permanent race track. The front wing needs to generate sufficient load to assist the tyres to grip on turn-in for the low speed corners, and to help eradicate understeer.
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EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX THE REST OF THE NEWS
energies to the world
Formula 1 is a battlefield of technological endeavour, and its competitive nature using the very latest technologies means that there are benefits stretching far and wide, including those in the environmental domain
ased on the site of a disused quarry, the environmental credentials of Lotus Renault GP’s partially underground headquarters bear close scrutiny. As well as being energy-efficient and cost-effective in many respects, with intelligent lighting systems, recycling programmes and car-share schemes, respecting the environment has become an integral part of the team’s culture. Since 2005, Enstone has been carbon neutral with agreements in place for the site to be powered by renewable energy from large-scale hydro sources until 2012. The team is committed to reducing operational waste by recycling. At present, 97% of electrical waste is recycled, while the machine shop recycles over 40 tonnes of waste metal annually. The team also makes use of a waste disposal compactor, which has reduced HGV traffic to Enstone by 50% with compacted waste sorted and recycled rather than going to landfill.
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Energy efficient lighting is used on all new projects and areas of refurbishment. Movement sensors switch off lights when rooms are not in use, while Trilux lighting systems can track levels of natural light during the day, adjusting artificial lighting accordingly to reduce energy wastage. Likewise, Building Management System controls have been installed to provide improved control over the factory’s heating and ventilation systems in order to optimise efficiency. The Kyoto Protocol has resulted in the UK committing to reduce CO2 emissions by 12.5% by 2012 from a 1990 baseline. The team achieved this objective for their operational facility at Enstone back in 2005. Ecological improvements are continually made at Enstone to encourage wildlife populations in an area which is registered as a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’. Recently, 1600 indigenous young trees were planted on the site and we often conduct ecological and ornithological improvements to encourage wildlife populations on the site.
A manufacturer of solar panels involved in Formula One Last year Trina Solar, a leading integrated manufacturer of solar photovoltaic (PV) products, became the first solar company to be named as an official sponsor of a Formula One team. The sponsorship has helped with the ‘greening’ of not only Lotus Renault GP, but the wider Formula One sporting community too. Trina Solar’s products provide reliable and environmentally-friendly electric power for a growing variety of large-scale, commercial and residential applications worldwide.
Contributing to the ‘greening’ of automotive technologies As the world’s most prestigious sport, Formula One embodies the very spirit of technological innovation. As one of the world’s largest and most technologically progressive solar PV companies, Trina Solar selected Lotus Renault GP as a strategic partner because of its interest in promoting green technologies. By partnering with the team, Trina Solar has helped raise awareness of the widespread adoption of solar energy while still contributing to Formula One’s progressive transformation into a more sustainable and greener industry. Lotus Renault GP represents the pinnacle of “green” automotive innovation, contributing to the development of electric cars, higher efficiency engines, biofuels, “green” IT, and other cutting-edge racing technologies. Trina Solar and Lotus Renault GP are working together to incorporate solar and other sustainable technologies into the Team’s activities, both on and off the racetrack.
Solar panels on the Lotus Renault GP Motorhome This partnership has showcased day-to-day applications of solar PV technology in a number of high-visibility areas of Lotus Renault GP’s operations, including VIP hospitality facilities and the team’s paddock-based motorhome. Trina Solar brings the solar practice right into the heart of the Formula One world – a 1.8 kW solar system was installed on the Lotus Renault GP motorhome, which can be tracked by a real time webbased monitoring system. It monitors the energy generated by the system in watts and kilowatt hours and tracks the kWh on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. It also explores the tangible impact the solar system is having on the environment, including litres of petrol, barrels of oil and kilograms of coal all offset by solar energy. Trina Solar and Lotus Renault GP are also conducting a joint analysis and evaluation program to assess how Trina Solar technologies can be integrated into the operations and ongoing upgrades of the team’s Enstone production facilities in a performance-proven, costeffective manner. The world is fast adopting sustainable technologies, and Formula One now has a great opportunity to enjoy its benefits.
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EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX THE REST OF THE NEWS
VALENCIA IN NUMBERS 2.5 60 59.7 315
This is the highest g-force the drivers experience in the lap between T18 and T20 for 3 seconds
This is the number of gear changes per lap The percentage of the lap spent at full throttle
In km/h this is the top speed, just before T12
16 65 290 900
The percentage of the lap spent braking In km/h this is the lowest apex speed at T8, T10, T17 and T25 In km/h this is the highest apex speed at T22 and T23 This is the longest distance, in metres, on full throttle between T10 and T12
Next step Hollywood?
Vitaly took part in a bit of moonlighting lately, as he provided voiceovers for the animated Disney-Pixar film, Cars 2. Vitaly’s voice will actually be used to play himself in the film, after Pixar created a Vitaly Petrov character and car. “I liked doing the voiceovers for an animated film such as this”, said Vitaly. “It was unusual but definitely fun!” Cars 2 comes out on Thursday 23rd June in Disney Digital 3D ™ and IMAX ® 3D formats.
Did you know?
Renault-powered cars have won the European Grand Prix in 2010 (Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Renault), 1996 (Jacques Villeneuve, Williams Renault) and 1995 (Michael Schumacher, Benetton Renault).
WHERE CAN YOU FOLLOW US? On our website, to start with:
(English, French, German, Russian and Polish versions)
How has your LRGP experience been so far? Firstly, it’s been an absolute pleasure to be part of an F1 team, and of course such a prestigious team as Lotus Renault GP. I’ve been able to come to some races and gain experience of how things work. By listening to the engineers, drivers and the other guys, it’s been very useful to see how a team of this stature operates. What’s your relationship with the team members like? Funnily enough, I know a lot of the guys from my time here in 2009 when I was racing for Renault F1 Team, so it’s good to see them again. I enjoyed working with them back then and to reunite with them has been great. That said, the structure of the team is quite different now because the new management has really pushed things forward in this way. The team looks very focused and even more professional.
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What’s your relationship with the team members like? There is always something you pick-up, always something new you can learn from the guys about the track or the settings. Even if you are not actually racing in the car, you have a clear idea of what is going on and there is definitely a lot I can learn from being amongst it. The team has a rich heritage – in your mind, what is unique about LRGP? The colour of the cars! Well, the name is unique too, but the black and gold brings back memories for many people and you want to see these colours on the F1 grid for sure. Also, Eric Boullier is very human in his approach, and his background as an engineer is a massive help. He always thinks about how much confidence the driver has in his car. In Monaco, for example, he was asking the drivers to go for a few “free” runs. This holds no technical implications, but is solely for them to feel the rhythm and find some confidence. If you speak to Eric, he really
feels it’s easy to gain two tenths by working in that way, whereas it takes a lot of effort and resource from the design office to find the same level of gain by working on technical upgrades. I really do like this way of working. How do you feel the team has fared on the track so far in 2011? It’s been a very, very exciting season and I was really happy to see the team was able to get such a good start after Robert’s incident. What happened to him was a big shock for everybody, and I think the whole sport wishes him a speedy recovery. The team has taken big strides in terms of improvement, too. We saw a podium for both drivers at the beginning of the season then, recently in Canada, the guys were fourth and fifth at one stage. Nick got unlucky but Vitaly managed to get some good points, so it is clear the car can compete highly.
On Twitter: twitter.com/OfficialLRGP On Facebook: Lotus-Renault-GP-The-Official Vitaly on Twitter: twitter.com/vitalypetrov10 Nick on Twitter: twitter.com/NickHeidfeld Bruno on Twitter: twitter.com/BSenna Romain on Twitter: twitter.com/Rgrosjean
Nick and Vitaly’s
Guide to VALENCIA Describe Valencia in three words Nick: America’s Cup sailing! Vitaly: Sunny, fun, memories (great ones).
Favourite restaurants and bars? Nick: There are plenty of good places to eat out along by the beach, and I’ve had some good paellas there in the past. Vitaly: I lived there, so too many to name! What do you think of the track? Nick: We will need some more downforce than we ran the car with in Montreal, and the brakes will need to be good once again. Vitaly: Another street circuit, though different to Monaco and Montreal (somewhere in between). I enjoy racing here. . BEST MEMORY OF VALENCIA? Nick: I spent some good time here with my family a few years ago, and some fond memories too. Vitaly: My GP2 victories.
Who’s who at LRGP ? • Gerard Lopez Chairman • Eric Boullier Team Principal and Managing Director • Patrick Louis Chief Operating Officer • James Allison Technical Director • Naoki Tokunaga Deputy Technical Director • Martin Tolliday Chief Designer • Dirk de Beer Head of Aerodynamics • Steve Nielsen Sporting Director • Alan Permane Chief Race Engineer • Gavin Hudson Chief Mechanic • Jean-Marc Bories Chief Marketing Officer • Stephen Curnow Chief Commercial Officer • Stephane Samson Head of Communications TRACKSIDE Hospitality • The girls in our hospitality who will look after our guests are Simona, Adriana and Daniela • Catering: Massimilian, Riccardo and Simoneto
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More images available online: www.lotusrenaultgp.com
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Team Principal and Managing Director
Lotus Renault GP Press Office Address Lotus Renault GP Whiteways Technical Centre Enstone Oxfordshire OX7 4EE UK Telephone
+44 (0) 1608 678 000
+44 (0) 1608 678 609
Media contacts Stephane Samson, Head of Communications +44 (0) 7827 307 185 firstname.lastname@example.org Clarisse Hoffmann, Senior Press Officer +44 (0) 7747 468 273 email@example.com Ben Nichols, Press Officer +44 (0) 7748 920 072 firstname.lastname@example.org Andy Stobart, Press Officer +44 (0) 7703 366 151 email@example.com Website lotusrenaultgp.com Facebook facebook.com/pages/Lotus-Renault-GP-The-Official Twitter twitter.com/OfficialLRGP
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