Rene Torcato offered us a full-scale demo of the seven-post rig, which simulates a lap of Monaco. A deafening racket exploded as the R.S.17 came to life, its wheels bouncing under the jacks’ sudden impulses.
A Grand Prix car is a sleek racer on rails when viewed from the outside, but here, in its bare form, its chassis convulsed and twitched with an unsuspected and extreme brutality.
“Monaco’s kerbs are pretty impressive, very typical,” explained our engineer once the thunder had subsided.
“The other tracks are less spectacular, and recognizable,” although Torcato contradicted the latter with an amusing anecdote involving Fernando Alonso.
“Way back when Fernando was driving for us, he came here with a few friends,” recounted our man.
“The car was running for 10-15 seconds, he said to the colleagues: ‘That is Spa. And it is me driving’. And he was right, he managed to recognize the track only from the suspension moves!”
Tech F1i: A visit to Renault at Enstone