Renault technical director James Allison says two points on the Suzuka circuit will put drivers’ nerves to the test.
He identified the high-speed turn one and 130R as corner that could be tackled with DRS activated during practice and qualifying.
Allison said: “[Suzuka] is popular with the drivers who relish the test of nerve and skill posed by the ‘s’ curves, Turn 1 and R130.
“These last two will be particularly interesting in 2011 to see whether anyone dares make it through them in qualifying with their DRS activated.”
After the team’s struggles in Singapore Allison expects to see them back in the top ten at Suzuka: “I expect us to be much more in the hunt than we were in Singapore.
“There are just two slow corners at Suzuka, and the R31 is much more at home on flowing, faster tracks. I will be disappointed if we are not in the top ten cars in qualifying to give us an opportunity to exorcise the disappointment of Singapore.
“We ought to be able to get the car back into the points. We need to – Force India is starting to breathe down our neck and we need a few good results to stay ahead.”
Team principal Eric Boullier explained some changes in the team’s structure following the departure of Steve Nielsen: “Part of what were Steve’s responsibilities will be taken over by Alan Permane, who is now track operations director.
“In addition, John Wickham is part of our team and further changes will be announced shortly. I expect this transition to be very smooth.”
2011 Japanese Grand Prix
Image © Renault/LAT