Car cracking with Renault

Andrew Hopkins

As the year draws to a close, it's always fun to look back on the highlights. One of these was a sunny though otherwise unremarkable Thursday afternoon in Hockenheim, the third of three Formula One test sessions with Felipe Massa topping the time list, two tenths ahead of Heikki Kovalainen. I stroll through the paddock looking for someone who might be susceptible to interview. All of a sudden, my attention is attracted by a knot of people gathered in front of the Renault team pavilion.

Several mechanics are clustered round a black Audi. They are joined by Nelsinho Piquet who had already finished his test stint on Tuesday. The Brazilian looks relatively unconcerned, withdraws to a vantage point between the team trucks and observes what happens next in a detached manner.