Belgian GP: Renault Saturday qualifying notes

Heikki Kovalainen made it into the top ten comfortably after a strong lap in the second round put him P7, and subsequently qualified in tenth position -- although he will start from ninth once Robert Kubica has observed an engine change ...

Heikki Kovalainen made it into the top ten comfortably after a strong lap in the second round put him P7, and subsequently qualified in tenth position -- although he will start from ninth once Robert Kubica has observed an engine change penalty.

Giancarlo Fisichella failed to make it into the top ten by just over a tenth of a second, after suffering from a general lack of grip on his timed laps, but will nevertheless start from the fifth row tomorrow, just behind his team-mate.

After displaying good consistency during long runs in Friday's practice sessions, the drivers remain optimistic of a strong performance in race conditions.

Heikki Kovalainen: 10th

"I have been very happy with the car all weekend, and our pace in the second part of qualifying reflected that. I didn't manage to put a good lap together on Friday, so finished quite a long way down the times, but everything came together nicely for me today and I was really able to push the car to the limit."

"I think our starting position may reflect some differences in strategy, as I know I put in a strong lap on my final run. Both types of tyres were working well in practice, so I think we should feel optimistic for every stint of the race, and look forward to a strong, aggressive performance."

Giancarlo Fisichella: 11th

"I was already struggling a little with the car this morning, and didn't feel fully comfortable. And unfortunately, I had the same problem in qualifying. The car was sliding a lot, and it meant I just couldn't carry the speed through the corners like I wanted to."

"In the end, I only missed out on the top ten by a tenth of a second, but we know that if we don't get everything right at the moment, then we have the risk of not getting to the final qualifying session. Hopefully, we can have a better race."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"This was a satisfactory day for the team, although I felt there was more to come from qualifying than we ultimately achieved. The fact is that the cars will line up ninth and tenth, and they are almost certainly on higher fuel loads than our direct competitors in front. Given the consistency we have enjoyed on both types of Bridgestone tyre this weekend, this should give us a good possibility of scoring points tomorrow."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations:

"We successfully completed a busy practice programme this morning, without any problems at all. The car has performed relatively well all weekend, particularly in Heikki's hands, and I think we have found a good set-up for tomorrow afternoon, with competitive strong speeds that will allow us to race strongly for position."

"Clearly, we are not in a position to challenge the top teams, but we are well prepared to try and out-race the cars around us. We will be hoping to see the situation turn to our advantage as the race unfolds."

Giancarlo Fisichella: 11th
Chassis: R27-02
Time: 1:46.603

Heikki Kovalainen: 10th
Chassis: R27-03
Time: 1:48.505

-credit: renault

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Heikki Kovalainen , Robert Kubica