Race weekend with the team World Series by Renault
At the end of September correspondent nonf1.ru upon the invitation Zeta Corse, went on stage Formula Renault 3.5 on the track Paul Ricard and spent a full weekend with the Russian team, which at that time led the battle for the title in the individual competition.
Step on the track Paul Ricard was for Zeta Corse unusual is the second pilot of the team, Roman Mavlanov missed the weekend, as performed in the GT Open race, where he fought for the title. As a result, all of the team's efforts were focused on a single pilot, Roberto Mary, who fought for the victory in the championship with Carlos Sainz Jr. However, despite the fact that the pilot this time was the only one on the track came the entire technical team of 11 people, not counting the guide and the driver.
Five work directly with the machine Roberto Mary. Chief among them is the race engineer Spaniard, Humphrey Corbett is one of the most respected professionals in the paddock for the World series. He has experience of working in Formula 1 with Olivier Panicum in Toyota, as well as in GP2 and GP3. Right hand Humphrey - telemetry Miguel Jose Clara, he receives and processes data from the machine, providing Humphrey necessary information. Directly with the machine work mechanics Sebastian Sandina, Salva Navarro and Peter Hayes Peter Hungarian, but the whole team calls him Pedro.
In General this structure is typical for most teams in the series, but there is Zeta Corse and differences. For example, the team is racing coach Felix Porteiro. Felix not so long ago was a racer himself, played in the World series by Renault, GP2 and WTCC, and now helps Mary and Mavlanov. In addition, he played a major role in the formation of the team in the past season.
Another five people typically worked with Roman Mavlanov, but this time helped the engineers and mechanics Mary. Among them race engineer, Australian Marcus Koch. For Koch this is not the first season of cooperation with Russian pilots Marcus was an engineer Mikhail Aleshin in 2010, when he became the first Russian champion of the Formula Renault 3.5. Also in the team Mavlanov - telemetry Jaume Jimenez and mechanics Miguel angel Aragon, Home Check and Marco Lozano. In both cases, the third mechanics Peter Hayes and Marco Lozano - and even truck drivers team.
Trucks at Zeta Corse two in one motorhome, together with kitchen and rest room pilots, the second - machines, parts and everything you need for equipment boxes. In Le Castellet trucks came directly from Budapest - so it was easier from a logistical point of view, than to return to Spain, and thence again to go to France. Most of the mechanics and team Manager Marco Rodriguez and logistics specialist Jose Luis Sinister arrived at the track on Thursday morning at the vans - they are the team also two. Roberto Mary and the team leader Roman Novikov - the evening of the same day from Valencia.
Unlike Formula 1, not only the operation of the machine, but even the procedure of Assembly boxes in the World series strictly regulated. On all routes to start these activities can be no earlier than eight o'clock Thursday. "To be honest, at one point we flew great from the organizers for what we have collected the boxes and motorhome too early - before the rest started assembling, laughs Roman Novikov. "Now try not to break.
Motorhom Zeta Corse - the largest in the paddock for the World series however, half of the teams tent-motorhome not at all. He is joined directly to the truck with kitchen and lounge, and is separated from the rest of transparent panes of acrylic glass, not plastic like some other teams. Going plastic floor, equipped with tables, chairs, sofas and a large TV - here will be to watch the races guests of the team.
The arrangement of the boxes is not only unload all tools and equipment. Before beginning work boxes - it's just an empty concrete box. To turn them into the area where the work will be done with machines, it is necessary to build a special frame supporting structure frame principle allows to make the design foldable and very compact, to bring electricity to hang monitors. On the floor of the orange paint are applied with special tags for the wheels, then to accurately adjust the ground clearance, suspension settings and stabilizer.
Finally, the boxes appear on the machine. The first thing after installation on a label to them is connected electricity - own battery with the engine off Formula Renault 3.5 only enough for 2-3 minutes offline. Then comes a series of checks.
"First of all we check the machine settings and the engine try to start the engine, test the operability of the transmission, radio communication, " explains Miguel Jose Clara. Then the car inspected by representatives of Renault Sport. In the future, we Refine the angles of attack spoiler and so forth." To check the settings, Miguel connects his laptop to the car - wireless data transmission, except for the telemetry is prohibited.
On Thursday held the first training pit-stops - in the future, the team performs them regularly, two to three times a day. Pilots, meanwhile, go for a walk on the highway. In Zeta Corse to the racers always attached and Felix Porteiro. The main objects of attention - bumps, the height of the curbs, the adhesion to the asphalt. All this information can significantly affect the trajectory chosen by the pilot, and the braking points. Then walk turns into a fitness workout - Mary ran along the four circles in a very decent pace.
If Thursday can be considered a relatively calm day, then Friday is one of the most stressful. All employees Zeta Corse, regardless of their status, he lived in the same hotel, a few tens of kilometers from the road. On the track the entire technical staff and management went quite early, at 7 am. An hour later he left and Roberto Mary before him on the track to do nothing. Together with Mary in the location of the team arrives and another member of the team chef Zeta Corse Elena Ramsden. She is from Russia, but have many years of living in Spain, Nerja, where she and her husband own a restaurant. Not so long ago, Elena became a member of the first season of the Russian version of the TV program Gordon Ramsay MasterShef.
Meanwhile mechanics started up the motor and checked the gearbox. 1050 begins the first session of the free races. In a team everyone is pumped to the traditional excitement that is present at any event, added concerns about this particular track. Zeta Corse is in fact a new team, and therefore largely forced to rely on the expertise of its engineers. However, Paul Ricard - not the most popular place for racing, although the tests" class="posttag">tests are held here often. As later admitted engineer Humphrey Corbett, the last time he worked on the race here. 1972.
In the first session of the pilots don't get new tires. During the first exit on the machine are tires that have already passed in a previous step from 40 to 100 km 10-20 circles. These tires engineers classified as "used". During the session, they are usually brought to the stage of the "old" tires, past 100-160 km Many youth series tires with the same resource can still put on the car, but in the Formula Renault 3.5 speed is too high, so they are sent for recycling.
In the second half of the session on the machine is equipped with the so-called "fresh" tires - break of not more than 40 km less than 10 laps. On these tyres pilots start in the second free practice. And only at the end of the evening session, they finally get new tires in order to evaluate the maximum speed and prepare for qualification.
After the first session begins working with telemetry. Miguel takes the data and discusses the change settings with Humphrey. Recommendations and gives Marcus Koch - the final decision, however, still Humphrey. Mechanics meanwhile, remove the fairing and carefully study the status of each node of the machine. Making sure everything is in order, collect the car and refuel. For the filling use a special mobile refueling machine. E, the mechanics have the ability internally to measure not only the quantity flowing into the tank, but also its temperature.
Roberto Mary, meanwhile working with Felix Porteiro. Felix compares telemetry best lap Meri data machines William Buller and Carlos Sainz. This might seem surprising, but the solution is simple - in fact it is last year's data, because a year ago at this track for Zeta Corse in Paul-Ricard spoke exactly the Buller and science, and Porteiro worked with them. The machine since then has not changed climatic conditions close, so that the results are quite comparable.
Roberto had already acted on this route, but the last time was a few years ago, in the Formula 3. It is much more powerful machines of the Formula Renault 3.5 this experience is hardly applicable, so that he will actually have to learn the track again. When comparing the graphs, Felix found several weaknesses in aerobatics Mary relatively Sainz and especially Buller. In the second session Roberto tried to make adjustments in their technique, and the results gradually grew.
Between sessions of all members of the team were waiting for lunch in motorhome. Thanks chef Elena Ramsden, the menu is very refined that "mobile kitchen" racing team rare. However, as admitted by Elena, after the previous stage in the selection of food they had to make adjustments and found that the Spanish mechanics unaccustomed to spicy foods, although she really liked engineers, Markus Koch and Humphrey to Corbett. Roberto Mary eats with the rest, a special diet. Of course, it monitors the amount of calories, but not as hard as some of the other pilots. However, compensates for this very serious exercise - trained Roberto is also more than other riders.
After the second session of the engineers for a long time discussing the matter, trying to find the optimal settings for the next day. Mechanics again check all the elements of the machine, and then restoring order in the boxes. Gradually darkens, after completion of all works on the track team in an organized manner is sent to the hotel, where ten minutes after arrival all gather again for dinner. In the same hotel and mechanics of some other teams, but sitting at different tables, little talking among themselves. In Zeta Corse not all tables are combined and dinner turns into a noisy gatherings, with an endless stream of jokes in English and Spanish.
The first race day also begins at seven in the morning. Qualification starts at 940, but until then we have to make adjustments to the settings. Like most other tracks, the qualification data is different from racing. Paul-Ricard requires medium or high clamping force, and in the qualification of the angle of attack spoiler increase. This allows for greater speed on the same lap, but the race will lead to increased tire wear. Therefore, the aerodynamic configuration is closer to the average values.
In addition spoiler, changing the value of the ground clearance and adjustment of the stabilizer bar. As the product in the Formula Renault 3.5 Smoking, and to warm up the tires, it takes time, usually in the qualification of pilots passing two long series of circles. In both pilots use the new rubber. The first attempt is rarely perfect - pilots, as a rule, are very cautious, trying to show160 basic result. The fight for pole position takes place in the second series, when all racers receive a set of new rubber and attack at the limit.
Changes in settings are bearing fruit if on, check Mary showed fairly average results for the circle, the qualification has risen to fourth place. However, his main rival, Carlos Sainz, was on the pole. In the boxes Roberto returned on foot machine at the entrance to the pit lane took the inspectors WSR for thorough review. As Mary contender for the title, his car check with enviable regularity.
At this point in the team have mixed feelings - on the one hand, the progress from session to session obvious, the other for title Challenger fourth place at the start can hardly be considered a good result, and the advantage of science is large enough. Roberto studied with Felix Porteiro telemetry his circle, goes into the rest room to focus before the race. Then, like many other pilots, going to the workout. Here the riders approach is different - some, like Carlos Sainz or will Stevens, are right near motorhome and talk ball with the coach. Mary prefers together with the coach to get as far away from the eyes, and generally performs stretching exercises and warm-up of muscles.
For half an hour before the race pilots are starting to travel on the track, trying the car and back in the boxes. Then they go on the starting grid. In Zeta Corse traditionally release their pilots were one of the last, though much work with the machine no leads - to make changes to the settings already too late. In order to be in direct start-finish line, you need to make a circle. During this time, mechanics and engineers are moving there from the boxes through a special gate in the pit wall, which will be closed before the start of the race. When Mary reaches its starting position, the telemetry Miguel Jose Clara connects to the car to spend the last check. Roberto discusses with him and Humphrey Corbett last detail, making sure that all systems are functioning properly.
A few minutes before the start of the race everyone is being asked to leave the starting grid. Humphrey Corbett and team Manager Marco Rodriguez is sent to the command post on the pit wall. Here is the same mechanic that shows the pilot information displays during the race. The command post is equipped with monitors timing and technical information. The same monitors are in boxes, so the engineers do not need to be present on the pit-wall information mechanics can be transferred and on the radio. But sometimes you need to act quickly, and direct contact is more reliable. The other members of the team returned to the pit in order to keep track of what is happening there.
In the race pilots will start on one of the sets of tyres used in qualifying. The second "fresh" set postponed for tomorrow - it will be placed in the first qualifying series. The racing itself, oddly enough, one of the most peaceful moments of the weekend for the team. Internal tension, of course, great, but at this point it all depends on Mary or mechanics or engineers may not affect the result. However, emotions enough - due to an overheated clutch Roberto started poorly, conceding Sergey Sirotkin. He was a little lost in the pace of the leaders, losing at the finish of the Sines 17 seconds.
Immediately after the race begins "debriefing". Although no particular problems with the machine not in the team decide to replace the clutch and go through the gearbox to 100 guarantee the performance on Sunday. Roberto frankly upset - not so much the victory of science and the increased gap in the championship, but about the lack of pace. It is a long time telemetry studies with Felix Porteiro, Miguel Jose and Clara Humphrey Corbett. Those, in turn, are looking for a solution, hoping to win tomorrow. Eventually coming to the conclusion that it is necessary to soften the settings.
At first glance, the schedule for the race weekend on Sunday is almost identical to the Sabbath. Some differences, however, are still there. They begin already in qualification during the first series of circles riders use the bus, which has already worked one attempt a day ago. This means that you can show them a really good time is almost impossible, and the whole struggle unfolds in the second attempt. Here, however, Roberto little unlucky - he was gradually added with each circle, but the session was completed ahead of time, because of the departure of Coele Amberg. In the result, Mary was the fifth and science second.
In the boxes Roberto returned without a car inspectors WSR made another test. The Spaniard admitted that changing the settings did not like Saturday's version was closer to him. However, the pole was Fading leaves Roberto chance to compete with Sainz - usually Carlos is not too great holds races in which he is forced to fight for position. Before the start of the race mechanics wear helmets during the race Sunday there is a mandatory pit stop. It also gives the team some hope - there is a possibility something to play when using the strategies.
Depending on the flow of rubber and other circumstances, the scheme of the pit stop may vary significantly. Most often, the car changing either the rear wheels or all four. In these cases, mechanics occupy different positions - all the options are processed, and as schematically represented in the figures displayed on the stand. By the way, these schemes are applied regardless of the pilots who spends a pit-stop. The most complex circuit - replacing all four wheels and nose fairing. In this pit stop participating at least eight people - all mechanics and both telemetry.
Before the race, already at the start line, the settings have changed - they have become a little softer. The launch was held for Mary good - he was ahead of Sirotkina Sergey faced the same problem with the clutch that Roberto - Saturday, and after a couple of laps and Jazz Jafar. To try to win, the team decided to change only the rear tyres - as, however, did most of the rest. Pit stop went rather well, but the comparison has shown that only on this was lost second. A couple of seconds lost due to the fact that Roberto called for one or two laps later than necessary. As a result, he lost two positions.
Command to change anything already could not, but could Mary. Roberto has done everything that is possible - he was again ahead of Jafar very bold maneuver in a long arc. To achieve more was hardly possible. Sainz again won easily, beating Faded even at the start. Chance at the title is not lost yet, but very much reduced. And Roberto, and engineers, and mechanics are upset by the results of the weekend, but not suppressed. After the mandatory analysis telemetry, we talked with Humphrey Corbett about how passed this weekend. "Honestly, if I had the opportunity to go back to the beginning of the weekend, I would have gone the other way, " said Humphrey. I would choose other, more rigid configuration. And, of course, prevented what we worked here with only one machine. If we had a second pilot, the progress would be much faster."
However, sad team once. Almost immediately after the finish begins assembling equipment and boxes, and in this work involved everything - including engineers and telemetries. Team leader Roman Novikov, meanwhile, helps to collect motorhome. All work quickly and smoothly, increasingly heard jokes, and laughter. The mood rises.
To load the machine, they have to manually roll through the pit lane to gate out to the highway - in boxes passage is too narrow. Then through the paddock - up trucks. Here the car rolled onto the platform-lift and raise to the top tier. After one machine and there goes the second. Meanwhile, Miguel Jose Clara is a list replacement parts - give it to the World series by Renault. In another list describes the work that will be held at the base.
The sun is on the wane, trucks collected, the teams are starting to disperse. Employees Zeta Corse, including Roman Novikov, immediately go to Valencia, others go back to the hotel. In the evening, with the remaining members of the team we're going to the restaurant. Despite not the best weekend, everyone's mood is quite positive.
The telemetry Miguel comes in a little dispute with engineers, Humphrey and Marcus. Humphrey argues that the decision to bring Marcus to help him was wrong. "Possible ways of selecting settings always a lot, and the information that gave Marcus was already too much, it only complicated choice," said Humphrey. The same opinion is Marcus. "Not in vain in Motorsport there is a rule one rider - one engineer, " he said. Miguel a different opinion on his opinion, the benefit of that decision was. However, the dispute is difficult to call hot - rather, it is a friendly discussion.
Soon the conversation flows smoothly on abstract themes. Marcus talks about his homeland Australia Adelaide, where once was the Grand Prix of Formula 1, as well as his passion for surfing. Humphrey no end of jokes and parades knowledge of the French language in the French provinces, where Paul Ricard, this is a great advantage, even the waiters here don't know English.
We, meanwhile, talk with Miguel - he is one of only three people including Marcus Koch and Felix Porteiro in the team, who worked at Zeta Corse year ago, when she belonged to other people and was registered in Italy. According to him, the change is very serious. "The difference is very great, " says Miguel. - Now we really are a team. I don't want anything bad to say about those people that worked in Zeta year ago - this is a great assistants. But they just came, did his job and went. This year it is exactly the opposite - we are together all the time, all help each other, the relationship is very good. This is a single United team.
text Elmir Valeev