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Formula Renault 2.0

Paul-Loup Chatin is actually the best french driver in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. After a slow beginning this season, he increased his pace and scored many points at Silverstone. Interview with the young Frenchman.

Paul-Loup, you made a slow start to the season but were in the points at Silverstone, finishing fifth and then third. Did you think you’d have such a good weekend?
I didn’t really expect to do that well at Silverstone, but the team made big strides at the Nürburgring and then in Budapest. We had the performance and the potential to get a podium finish, and I also knew I’d feel at home on that track because I won the lot there last year in F4 (F4 Eurocup 1.6, now the French F4 Championship).

In which areas do you think you have improved since the start of the season?
In all areas I think, but especially with my braking. I’m finding my way now, but I know that I have to keep on improving at this level. I’m also managing my weekends better and that allows me to be more focused during races.

Have you reassessed your end-of-season objectives after your performances at Silverstone?
At the start of the season we had one objective: to be in the top 15 in the first half, top ten in the second and top five at the end. We’ve met those objectives so far, but I think it would be pushing it to say that I’ll definitely be in the top five overall after Barcelona.

It would be a nice to achieve that, though.
The goal is to get as close as possible to the top five, to be the highest-placed Frenchman and the best rookie, which doesn’t really include Carlos Sainz Jr, whose already got plenty of experience under his belt after driving this car last year.

What did you get up to in the mid-seas on break between Budapest and Silverstone?
I did a little bit of everything. I did quite a bit of work at home, and it’s good to do that from time to time. I also had a training course with the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy, and then I took a week’s holiday in the sun to switch off from driving and clear my head. I got back behind the steering wheel a fortnight before Silverstone so I could be ready when the season resumed.

How special does it feel to be coming back to France in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, for the French leg of the World Series by Renault?
It’s different for the French drivers because the fans follow you more closely. In terms of racing, though, it’s no different. I’m preparing for this race as I would any other and I’m just as anxious to get the best possible result.

Do you think the fans will be watching you more closely than others?
I know there’ll be a few people coming to see me, and obviously that’s good. But I don’t like to get too distracted by my people on race weekends. They know we can have a chat during meals and breaks, but they also know that the rest of the time I’ll be preparing as if they weren’t there. That’s how things work best for me.

Have you started preparing for 2012?
I’m really just trying to concentrate on the end of this season, though I am looking to 2012 as well and what the plans are for me. It’s all a bit up in the air at the moment. The sensible thing would be to have a second season in FR 2.0 but it all depends on what offers I get and my budget, and on what my people advise me to do.

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 16 September 2011
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