Google translate of interview in polish
http://sokolimokiem.com/permane-o-tesci ... ne-sprawy/
Renault sports director Alan Permane, who has worked for nearly three decades in various Enstone teams, has appeared in various incarnations - from Benetton through the previous incarnation of Renault and Lotus to the current incarnation of the French company's production team - in conversation with Eleven after the Grand Prix. Canada talked about Robert Kubica's test week at the Ricardo Tormo track near Valencia. Comment is not superfluous, I invite you to read.
An exceptional day for a Polish driver and his supporters last week in Valencia, a test drive in your car, with your team. Where did the idea come from?
It was my idea to just put Robert in the car.
That was your idea?
Something like that. It started out really nothing more than that: a day for him, a day away from us, a welcome back at Enstone. It is obvious that we have unfinished business among ourselves, broken so quickly and it is obviously a pity. He really started showing, of course he had already shown great potential, but then it was getting better and better. It's such a small collaboration to give him a day in the car.
It's a nice gift because you do not often give a driver a day in a Formula 1 car, right?
No, but it is safe to say that Robert is an exceptional driver. He was part of our Enstone family and greeted him back, organizing such a day was very nice.
Why did you keep it in such a secret?
To be honest, we did not want to create a lot of media confusion. We knew that when it came out, everyone would be interested. Everyone loves Robert, everyone feels sad after what has happened. We knew it was going to be and to be honest he came up quietly, he had no problem announcing it. I did not want to put a lot of pressure on him, and I just wanted it to be a day for him, without expectations, no pressure to just drive.
Of course you were there, in Valencia, of course Robert had the fun of the day, but you certainly liked it too. How did you do, you were surprised by what you saw in Valencia? One hundred and fifteen laps is enough.
Yes, he has done a lot of laps. I never doubted his pace, at all. I did not know and I think he either did not know whether he would be physically able to ride and most of all if he would be able to ride a lot. He drove different cars, drove simulators, drove GP3 earlier this year, in preparation for that day, but we did not really know what his limitations would be. Honestly, it went very well. He was fast, made long passes, short passes, qualification, race simulation. Everything went very well.
He later said he now knew he could work on a real return. After what you saw, do you think this is a sensible goal for him?
I think he knows better than me, but from what I've seen, the statistics, with data, then the speed is in place. It is certain. My only fear was,can he drive, because if he can, then I had no doubt that he is still fast - and is fast. I can only say that on that Tuesday in Valencia he did a fantastic job. There are many other tracks and only he knows if he has physical limitations on other objects. If all this goes on, then this will be another step.
But in Valencia there were no problems with the space in the cockpit, the steering wheel and things like that, did you have to modify something?
We made a very slight modification of the steering wheel in the shift range, we both put the blade on one side. For us it was nothing, a minor change in the software and it had no effect.
And the car itself is a five-year-old machine. Are modern cars different in a way that could hinder return?
No, I do not think the difference between Formula 1 and say Formula 2 or GP3 is that we have support. We can adjust the steering power, and in those cars, it does not work harder than that. Although that car is five years old, it's still a very fast machine. It was a good car for its time, and it is also much lighter than the present. Of course there are no hybrid systems and it has a V8 engine, but it is not slow.
You mentioned the unfinished business between Enstone and Robert. Do you think you try to finish these things, is it too early to comment?
I think it is too early to comment. We are still in touch, we even talked about the race today and everything we could do in the future. At the moment I can only say that nothing else was scheduled for this moment, but I would not say we will not do something again in the future.
Can you reveal more details about Robert's cooperation in previous months or years? How did it look like?
We have been talking about this test for several months. He appeared in Enstone
around the beginning of this season, then we were in contact, me and Robert, for the previous three or four months, talking about this day and focusing on the preparation.
Was he at the time in the Enstone simulator?
Not in Enstone. I know he rode in other simulators and maybe this is something we'll think about for the future. This may be another step, riding in the simulator.