The chief race engineer at Renault talks about preparations for the Korean Grand Prix.
Alan Permane: setting up for Yeongam
What are the first steps you take when preparing to race at a new track?
We started many months ago, when the FIA [Formula One's governing body] provided all the teams with a detailed circuit map. From this we were able to create a digital representation of the track and ask our drivers to add what they believe to be the correct racing line.
How close does using a simulator bring you to reality?
Simulations allow us to assess the best aero levels, suspension settings, ride heights and even fuel load sensitivity. There are lots of unknowns, such as the surface bumps, road camber and the grip level of the asphalt, but before we arrive we'll still have a fairly good idea of the set-up."
What have the simulations taught you?
The projected lap time is 1min 44sec, cars will be on full throttle for 55 per cent of the lap, the average speed will be 195kph, with a top speed of 315kph on the 1.15 km straight between Turns Two and Three. The fastest corner will be Turn Eight, with a predicted apex speed of 235 kph.
How does the new circuit compare with others?
The required downforce will be on the high side and we plan to run the same wing package we used last time out in Suzuka [Japan]. There are a number of low-speed, technical corners and we need to achieve a good balance through those.