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Bob Bell: Let’s see what happens tomorrow."

Bob Bell

By Renault F1
March 17 2007

The ING Renault F1 Team chief chassis engineer is a bit disappointed with today’s qualifying but remains confident

Bob, how did qualifying go for the team?
“It was rather disappointing, really. Heikki missed out on the top ten by just a few tenths, but it wasn’t really his fault. Since yesterday his track time’s been limited because of mechanical issues, and he wasn’t able to prepare for qualifying in the best possible conditions. Giancarlo’s more or less where we expected him to be. He was baulked on his quickest lap, which is a pity. He could have moved up one or two places.”

How do you see the race evolving?
“First of all, the mechanical glitch that hit Massa’s Ferrari shows that everything’s still a bit up in the air. The cars are new and even if we’ve covered thousands of kilometres in testing, anything can happen to both ourselves and our rivals from a reliability viewpoint. Secondly, I think that our race pace is pretty close to that of the leaders. It seems to be better than BMW in any case. The best thing for Giancarlo would be to pass a few cars at the start and then to drive a steady race. What Heikki has to do above all is to avoid a first-corner accident.”

Did you compromise your race strategy to go quicker in qualifying
“Absolutely not. That’s not Renault’s approach.”

What have you learned so far this weekend?
“We’ve seen that the Ferraris and McLarens are quick. We also knew that our pace over a flying lap would be our weak point. But we’re confident. As I said yesterday, it’s not a single quick qualifying lap that will decide the outcome of the world championship.”

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