Magny-Cours includes a variety of challenges for drivers and cars like: three high-speed corners at the start of the lap; a very slow hairpin at Adelaide; two enjoyable high-speed chicanes; and numerous changes of gradient. As always, finding the right set-up will be about finding the right compromise. Here Renault detail how they plan to achieve the R27’s optimum performance at the track...
Magny-Cours demands a much higher level of downforce than at the recent North American races. While both of these circuits required a similar low-medium set-up, Magny-Cours demands a medium-high configuration, to ensure the cars are competitive through the high-speed corners.
The French circuit is renowned as an exceptionally smooth circuit, which allows the teams to run lower ride heights and stiffer suspension settings to improve aerodynamic performance. This also has the added benefit of making the car more responsive in the high-speed changes of direction required through the two quick chicanes.
As ever, though, a good compromise must be found because the circuit also includes a number of very slow corners, where softer settings would offer better grip, and the correct balance must be struck between performance in the high and low-speed corners.
It is very hard to choose the type of tyres because the circuit is particularly temperature-sensitive, and something as seemingly insignificant as a few minutes of cloud cover can have a drastic impact on track temperatures - and thus grip levels. Bridgestone will be bringing the ’soft’ and ’medium’ tyre compounds from the 2007 range to this race, and as always, successful management of both tyre types will be key to a successful race strategy.