Australian GP: Renault Saturday qualifying notes

Unpredictable weather today at Melbourne's Albert Park circuit provided all the elements needed for an exciting first qualifying session this afternoon. Giancarlo Fisichella, running in the best conditions of the session, made the most of them at...

Unpredictable weather today at Melbourne's Albert Park circuit provided all the elements needed for an exciting first qualifying session this afternoon. Giancarlo Fisichella, running in the best conditions of the session, made the most of them at the wheel of the R25 to take the provisional pole position.

A storm broke after the Italian completed his lap, meaning Fernando Alonso -- running ten minutes later -- was forced to use complete his lap on full wet tyres in extremely wet conditions. His lap-time of 1:47.708 leaves him 14th ahead of tomorrow's second qualifying session.

Giancarlo Fisichella:

"I did a very good lap in difficult conditions: the track was still damp in lots of places, and I had to push right to the limit without going over it. Running on dry tyres in the damp always makes it difficult to find enough grip, but the car was well balanced for my lap. I am looking forward to tomorrow; with the unusual order today, the second qualifying session and race will be very interesting."

Fernando Alonso:

"The conditions were almost impossible: even with full wet tyres, the car was aquaplaning on the straight and it continued raining until the end of my lap. I did my best to do a clean lap, but as I am likely to start in the lower half of the grid, it will be a difficult race."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"We had good and bad luck this afternoon: without a doubt, Giancarlo was on track in the best conditions in the session, while Fernando arguably suffered the worst. Nevertheless, the two drivers managed the conditions well and gave strong performances."

"We now look ahead to second qualifying and the race. We are expecting the rain to continue intermittently until the early hours of Sunday morning, which means there are chances that the circuit will still be damp for second qualifying -- although we think it is unlikely to rain during that session. But it is certainly fair to say that the abnormally large gaps after first qualifying may lead to some interesting choices on strategy."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations:

"If there was one thing we expected the first qualifying session to show, it was a first clear indication of the relative performance of ourselves and our rivals. However, because of the weather this afternoon, we do not have this information -- and it is also important to stress that we have only completed half of the qualifying session."

"From a technical point of view, it was a trouble-free day and the widely varying track conditions throughout the day, from fully dry to fully wet, provided us with the possibility to collect information about almost every eventuality we may encounter tomorrow."

Giancarlo Fisichella
1st, 1:33.171
Fernando Alonso
14th, 1:47.708

-renault-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Fernando Alonso