F1 »

Q&A: James Allison, Lotus Renault GP

James Allison: I expect us to be much more in the hunt than we were in Singapore. There are just two slow corners at Suzuka, and the R31 is much more at home on flowing, faster tracks.

Lotus Renault GP technical boss James Allison previews the F1 2011 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.



Q:
James, what can be learnt from the Singapore Grand Prix?

James Allison:
It is much harder to say with any precision just what it is about our car that can impact performance at these low speed tracks. Neither is it clear why Singapore was notably worse than either Monaco or Hungary. We know from our experiments with rear blowing exhausts earlier in the year that they do offer a lot more rear downforce – especially at high rear ride heights. We know that slow speed tracks allow the rear to be held up high in all the corners and we know that rear downforce is a prized asset for coping with the traction demand at these tracks. We also know that the forward exhaust, by contrast, performs more strongly once the rear ride height starts to compress – something that cannot be avoided in medium and high speed corners. It is probably reasonable to conclude that this is the basic mechanism behind the way that we shed so much competitiveness at slow speed tracks. Our car is very sensitive and extremely unforgiving of even the slightest geometric misalignment. We were plagued by rear wing and floor issues that all seem to be even more sensitive at very low speeds than they are at the higher speeds where our car is more comfortable.

Q:
Will LRGP be rid of these problems with the R32?

James Allison:
Of course. Each of these problems can be engineered out of the R32. However, at this stage of the season it is much harder to address these underlying problems for the R31.

Q:
The Japanese GP comes next – do you expect the R31 to be competitive at Suzuka?

James Allison:
I expect us to be much more in the hunt than we were in Singapore. There are just two slow corners at Suzuka, and the R31 is much more at home on flowing, faster tracks. I will be disappointed if we are not in the top 10 cars in qualifying to give us an opportunity to exorcise the disappointment of Singapore. We ought to be able to get the car back into the points. We need to – Force India is starting to breathe down our neck and we need a few good results to stay ahead.

Q:
Suzuka – what challenges does it present?

James Allison:
Suzuka, like Spa, is one of F1's classic tracks. It is popular with the drivers who relish the test of nerve and skill posed by the 's' curves, Turn 1 and R130. These last two will be particularly interesting in 2011 to see whether anyone dares make it through them in qualifying with their DRS system activated. We are long overdue a wet Suzuka race– we have had a wet session every year since 2005 and yet surprisingly, all the races have been dry for over 10 years!


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
25.09.2011- Race, Bruno Senna (BRA), Lotus Renault GP R31 leads Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
25.09.2011- Race, Bruno Senna (BRA), Lotus Renault GP R31
24.09.2011- Saturday Practice, Bruno Senna (BRA), Lotus Renault GP R31
24.09.2011- Saturday Practice, Bruno Senna (BRA), Lotus Renault GP R31
James Allison. Technical director. [Pic credit: Lotus Renault GP]
James Allison. Technical director. [Pic credit: Lotus Renault GP]

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.