Renault Formula One and Bell & Ross Watches 2019
Recap of a special Saturday afternoon at the Monza GP, hosted by Renault F1 and Bell & Ross.
There's no doubt that Monza is unique when it comes to Formula One; each year the Italian GP reaffirms how exciting this stage of the world championship is, and the expectations set by the competing teams are high; also, the 2019 Monza GP has marked the astounding win by Charles Leclerc. The Renault F1 team is one out of only three factory teams of the F1 circus, and they are the ones we have to thank, along with their partner Bell & Ross watches, for having attended the qualifying sessions from a privileged position, the paddock.
They gave us, as did last year, the chance to experience the F1 Saturday sessions from behind the scenes, by living an official qualifying session where both drivers clinched an excellent position on the starting grid.
However, something has changed in comparison to last year, since the guy we shook our hands to, during the traditional "meet and greet" that follows the official qualifying session, was Daniel Ricciardo and not Carlos Sainz Jr anymore, since he's driving for McLaren in 2019; moreover, the French team also announced, ahead of the GP, that French driver Sebastian Ocon will join forces with Daniel, thus replacing Nico Hulkenberg, for 2020. Renault F1 is heavily investing in getting to the top and deserves to be soon among the top three teams, in my opinion.
Charline, from the Renault F1 Team, welcomed us and organized a tour of paddock and garage, whose notable moments regard the "pit walk" and the participation to the official Grand Prix Quali session from the inside of the box, inside an area placed just behind where the cars are parked, and the engineers are at work.
If you are a die-hard F1 fan as I am, you're never tired of discovering how a Formula One team is currently organized and how dedicated is the preparation process, from free practice all the way to qualifying session: complexity and specialization keep growing year after year; since hybrid powertrains first came out, an additional effort is required to engineers, with particular regard to monitoring an engine's performance and reliability, as attested by the many failures occurred during the first part of the season.
Attending the official qualifying session from such a privileged position is an extraordinary experience: we were allowed to listen to live conversations between race engineer and driver, via a Renault F1 official headphones set.
The interaction between driver and engineer has intensified and can be addressed to another key winning factor to have brought complexity in the equation: tires. There are so many, and the racing rules are also so intricate, today, to require a Formula One driver to act more like an engineer than just a skilled driver.
The "Formula One Experience," as I'd like to name it, gives you a rare chance to also occasionally meet new and old personalities, by just walking into the paddock. As stated above, we met, at the end of the session, Daniel Ricciardo, who not only is considered one of the fastest F1 drivers, he also is one of the most fun guys around. At around five PM, we left the racetrack, we are thankful to Renault F1 and Bell & Ross for having enjoyed yet another great day, another year, at Monza.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®