Fabrice Lom, the man in charge of maximising the RS27 engine with the Red Bull Racing Team, reflects on the long winter testing period and gives his views on the season ahead and the upcoming Australian Grand Prix.
"I think that it went well. We already know the team well as we have been with them for a year and we know their way of working. The first discussions relating to the RB4 project took place well in advance, with the result being a better integration of the engine. Our main preoccupation resulting from 2007 was to improve the level of reliability with the package and our advice has been taken into account during the conception of the new car. The result seems to be a car that is intrinsically more reliable. This winter we have therefore done well and we have covered many kilometres, and I believe we have made good progress."What have been the main tasks this winter?
"As with all the teams, the adoption of the new electronic regulations has kept us busy. We had initially worked on an adapted RB3 to run a car with the new electronics as we wanted to get used to the new settings and adapt to the new way of thinking. This first step went well, and the drivers quickly wanted to start working on the development of the new car. We have made good progress, but we are still far away from where we would wish to be."In what state of mind do you approach the first race of the season?
"I feel that our package this season is a step forward. In 2007 we worked hard but the team was still young and our hopes were simply to be able to finish races. For this season, not finishing would be a real disappointment because we have other ambitions. But it is hard to know the relative level of performance of the other teams. What we do know is that the gaps are very small, and we are in for a very competitive year and I think that the battle to reach Q3 will be intense. We now have to wait for the first race in Melbourne to have a better idea of the main forces in the championship. In any case, we will try our best."