Q and A: Bob Bell

Renault’s technical director Bob Bell looks ahead to Monaco.

Bob, the team seemed more competitive in Spain were you pleased with the overall performance?
We were a little bit disappointed with our pace in the final part of qualifying, but during the race we saw the performance that we expected and overall we were pleased with the result. We knew we weren’t going to jump to the front of the pack, but we were determined to close the gap to the leading teams, and I think that’s what we’ve done. Considering where we were at the start of the season, it was a nice reward for all the hard work and effort that has gone in behind the scenes.

With all the teams pushing hard to develop their cars, how difficult is it to take a major step forward?
You can only do your utmost to develop faster than the competition and I think as a team we are good at doing that, as we demonstrated in the second half of last year. We’re in a similar position this year, but it’s even more challenging now with limited wind tunnel and CFD time available and no in-season testing. But it’s the same for everybody and all we can do is continue working hard, keep our motivation high, and keep pushing developments through and onto the car as fast as we can.

What can you tell us about the evolution of the R29 will there be any further developments for Monaco?
Yes, we have some minor updates because Monaco always needs a slightly different package, for example it requires the most steering lock of any track we visit. It won’t be as big a step as we made in Barcelona, but we are still hopeful of adding some performance to the car to keep closing the gap to the leaders

How challenging is the Monaco Grand Prix for the team?
It’s a very challenging weekend because there is never much space and the facilities are limited. But it’s a fabulous track; everybody enjoys it and there’s always a great atmosphere. It’s an interesting and demanding circuit where it’s very easy to make a mistake and experience counts for a lot. Because there is no margin for error, we often see safety cars during the race and so we need to be ready to react quickly and make the most of any opportunities.