The general declared that the tank was too light and the centre of gravity too far to the rear. He thought it needed more work.
Rodolphe Ernst-Metzmaier, the engineer who designed the FT tank, in front of a full-scale model
The next day, a second lieutenant who did not hold Estienne in great esteem, wrote, “We saw a Renault mock-up in Billancourt. It’s just a charming Christmas toy. The driver and the gunner have absolutely no room to move. It’s a very elegant design, but I don’t see why all this metal is needed for just one machine gun which will probably be useless. I must say I have doubts about the common sense of General Estienne and his satellites. I have no faith in them.”
Renault explained that the weight and dimensions of his tank had been reduced so that a large number could be produced in a very short time.
For further information...
Book : Gilbert Hatry, Renault, « Usine de guerre », 1914/1918, Lafourcade, 1978
Source: Renault Histoire, all rights reserved.