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Interview with Alan Permane: & # 34; The worst was the uncertainty & # 34;

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Interview with Alan Permane
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How difficult was it to get 2 points from 18th place on the grid in Abu Dhabi?

P ermane: Not so bad at all. We at Romain opted for an alternative strategy so that he can drive most of the time without traffic. His speed on the hard tire was really good. At the end of the first stint it was already clear that he could make it into the points.

What did the simulations say: Was it ninth place?

Permane: We didn't even look that far. When Romain went into the last stint, there was only one goal: to beat Sainz. Verstappen was already out of the way because of his early first pit stop. We only thought of Kvyat 3 or 4 laps before the end. He slowed down significantly and Romain was still going fast.

Was Toro Rosso the big opponent that day?

Permane: Absolutely. It was about 6th place in the constructors' championship. We had a 9 point cushion, but we feared that Red Bull could somehow help its sister team. Red Bull itself had nothing more to lose.

How important was the timing of the pit stops? Were there any problems with the tires?

Permane: Not at all. We drove the first two stints a little longer than planned because the tires held up so well. We also knew that we would need enough laps on the supersofts to catch up with Sainz. I think the timing was perfect.

What happened to Maldonado's car after the collision with Alonso?

Permane: The rear suspension is broken. It's a shame, because theoretically it should have landed before Romain. He would have been on the ideal strategy. Romain was just behind Massa at the finish. Then Pastor could have landed in front of Massa.

Your seasonal balance?

Permane: I'm glad it's over. It was tough, but I don't want to complain. It is a privilege to work in Formula 1. But this year it was particularly tough, especially for the mechanics. How often had tothey put extra shifts because we were only allowed to set up the garage late.

How much more money would Lotus have had to invest to beat Force India?

Permane: I can't say that. We did very little aero development and had very few new parts on the car during the season. We had to make do with a limited number of gears and sub-floors. Compared to other years we found a lot less time between Melbourne and the last race. If we take the qualification in Barcelona as a benchmark, Force India was about a second slower than us there. At that time we had no problems making it into the top ten on the grid. But then we stagnated and Force India developed its car really well. In the end, they were half a second faster than us. This is Formula 1: If you stand still, you go backwards.

Has only the parts production suffered from the money problems?

Permane: Everything has suffered. Design, CFD, wind tunnel time, production. It's also not ideal in terms of next year's car evolution. At the time when it wasn't clear whether Renault would buy us or not, we were limited. But if Renault comes, it will be for a long time. And then today's problems will be quickly forgotten.

How much easier will life be as a Renault works team?

Permane: The first year will not be easy. But in the end you work just as intensely, regardless of whether you are employed by Mercedes or Manor. Only the reward on the racetrack is different. For us, the most important thing is that we now have a secure future. The worst thing for us was the uncertainty over the past few months. People with families and children didn't know if they would have a job next year. If you always have this situation in mind, then the work will be really difficult.

Can you make the first test with the new Renault works car?

Permane: Yes, we will be there. It's no secret that we're running late. We're still in design. But we can do it as we have always done.

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