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Formula Renault 3.5

The last month at Silverstone, Romain Grosjean gave the new Formula Renault 3.5 its first public outing. The Lotus Renault GP driver has been involved in the project as development driver since the start, and he showed the potential of this car that will make its debut in next year’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series Championship.

Romain, how long have you been involved in the new Formula Renault 3.5 project?
RG: “Renault Sport contacted me before Monaco where the car was shown on paper. I accepted immediately as I love this kind of job. I gave it its first shakedown at Albacete and then I did the final development session at Motorland Aragon.”

What feedback do you give about the car’s handling during a test session?
RG: “My role evolves according to the requirements of the technical department. If the car is supposed to be easy to drive than we can try and go down this path; if it’s to be more precise and more complicated we can establish another setup. But our main job was to define the basic setup on which the teams can work to evolve the car themselves.”

Have you been able to test its full potential?
RG: “After the shakedown at Albacete the car had evolved a lot when I got behind the wheel again at Motorland Aragon. We were able to push hard and this was great fun. I enjoyed myself very much and I was pleased with its progress.”

You were able to go pedal to the metal and you were 2.5s quicker than the present car’s benchmark time.
RG: “We did some testing on qualifying tyres and we also did long runs to see how the tyres and suspension reacted. We also worked a lot on the suspension. We found a good base setup.”

How would you judge the current level of the car?
RG: “It’s already progressed a lot compared to the first session. The lap time is the best argument to show the teams that the car is quick out of the box. We’re working in the right direction to make it quick and reliable.”

The new Formula Renault 3.5 has several innovations like the DRS (Drag Reduction System) which reduces aero drag What do you think of it?
RG: “I was surprised by the DRS. The system works very well. In qualifying setup you can have fun using it as much as possible - even in the corners! We’ll just have to see how its use will be regulated in the championship, but it’s a good thing. The drivers will have to do more than just simply driving the car.”

Did you enjoy driving it in public for the first time?
RG: “It’s really great to unveil this new car to the public, especially at Silverstone a circuit I adore, where the spectators are true enthusiasts. It’s their new toy, the car they’ll see next year. Everybody wants to hear the noise it makes and see how it handles.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 28 September 2011
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