Interview with James Allison: Pre Malaysian Grand Prix 2012 – Formula 1
Zigwheels Home

Home » Formula1» News» Interview with James Allison: Pre Malaysian Grand Prix 2012

View all
View all

Interview with James Allison: Pre Malaysian Grand Prix 2012

by Team ZigWheels Posted on March 20, 2012 19:18 IST 96 Views

The E20 has performed well at three circuits in 2012. Can the team unlock Sepang's secrets? Lets find out


James Allison
James Allison



Question - What was your take on the first race of the 2012 season?

Answer - A solitary seventh place from the race doesn’t tell the full story. Overall we can be proud of the way that the car, the team and our drivers have performed. The E20 has looked fast at Jerez, at Barcelona, and now at Albert Park too. Romain did a terrific job to qualify in third position. He was unfortunate with his start and more unfortunate still to have suffered an impact with another driver causing his untimely departure from the race. We took some satisfaction from Kimi’s solid drive which converted his rather lowly grid position into a handful of points.



Question - How much did we learn from the weekend in Albert Park as it wasn’t a straightforward weekend due to a wet Friday limiting running?

Answer - We felt from winter testing that we were in a reasonable position. We didn’t think we had the quickest car, but we had a good feeling. We could also see that it was close between all the teams. The wet running on Friday [where we instructed our drivers not to run rather than expose the car to unnecessary risk] meant that we had to wait until Saturday to find out the true pecking order. It was both satisfying and relieving in equal measure to see the car perform at the upper end of our pre-season estimates.



Question - How different is the challenge in Malaysia?

Answer - Although slightly unusual, Albert Park is actually not a bad weather vane for the season. Its range of corner speeds and traction demands means that cars which are quick in Melbourne tend to do OK over the remainder of the season. The next race will be much hotter, which poses different challenges for the cars, the tyres and the drivers, but we are confident that our Melbourne form, coupled with our reasonable pace in Jerez and Barcelona, will translate into a competitive showing in Malaysia.


Question - Any changes to the car for the second round?

Answer - We don’t have any big upgrades to the car. It is a tight turnaround with a back to back race and we will be concentrating on finding a good setup with the package we have to make sure that we are using the tyres well. Sepang is quite challenging in this regard, due the high track temperatures that we can expect.



Question - How is progress in finding a steering set-up exactly to Kimi’s liking?

Answer - We have a baseline steering set-up which Kimi is able to live with. It is not ideal for him, and it is our duty to ensure that we give him a system that meets his demands perfectly. We brought a new option to Melbourne for him to try but the wet weather meant that we were not able to judge whether it was a step forwards. We reverted to the “old faithful” out of an abundance of caution. We will keep persisting until we produce a set-up which is exactly to his requirements.


Question - What area specifically about the steering are the team focusing on?

Answer - Each driver is different in what he wants from his steering setup. All of the drivers have a hydraulically assisted powered steering unit in the steering rack as the loads on the wheel would be intolerable otherwise. The engineers adjust the level of assistance that this unit provides to suit the individual requirements of the driver. Kimi likes to drive with quite a light steering wheel, but one which also has great precision. Our baseline rack is precise, but it is not light enough for Kimi’s driving style. Our challenge is to produce a hydraulic rack that is more powerful than the current unit, but which sacrifices none of its precision. We have not got there yet, but we will do.

Post Your Comment

Do you like this story?

Readers' opinions ( )
Post a Comment

Have something to say? Post your comment
Comments are moderated and will be allowed if they are about the topic and not abusive.
Characters remaining (1500)

Will be displayed

Will not be displayed
7 + 1 =
Please answer this simple math question.