Belgian GP: Renault Saturday qualifying notes

Jarno on pole and Fernando third on the grid for tomorrow's race, after a wet qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps. The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team claimed pole (Jarno Trulli) and positions (Fernando Alonso) for tomorrow's Belgian Grand Prix...

Jarno on pole and Fernando third on the grid for tomorrow's race, after a wet qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team claimed pole (Jarno Trulli) and positions (Fernando Alonso) for tomorrow's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. After heavy rain reduced this morning's practice sessions to a short fifteen minute run late in the morning, all the teams went into qualifying with many questions unanswered. Following a solid pre-qualifying session, the two Renault drivers went out on intermediate tyres for their timed lap, which gave them a significant advantage.

Jarno Trulli took provisional pole on his run, which became the second pole of his career after his time went unbeaten, while Fernando was pipped by Michael Schumacher at the very end of qualifying. Nevertheless, after completing sixty laps on Friday in dry conditions, both drivers are optimistic for tomorrow's race.

Jarno Trulli:

"This afternoon, we took a gamble and it paid off. We were watching the cars that went out before me in qualifying very closely to judge whether we could use the intermediate tyres or not. I thought it could work, particularly in the second and third sectors, so we took the risk, and the team did a great job to react so quickly. On the lap itself, everything went smoothly: the handling of the R24 was good, and I would even say I could have gone slightly quicker. It has been tough for me in recent races, so I hope that I will be able to turn this pole position into a strong result tomorrow."

Fernando Alonso:

"I think that overall, I was lucky today: after I had done the first half of my timed lap, it started raining again, but fortunately it was not heavy and I didn't lose too much time. In fact, it was the first time this weekend that I had run on intermediate tyres, which meant I didn't have long to adapt to them, and it was quite difficult to find the limit. However, we had a very good day yesterday and I am optimistic that the car will be very quick in the dry."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"This is a fantastic result for the entire team. I have always said that I don't believe in luck, but we were certainly lucky today. Having said that, you must be able to seize opportunities when they come along and we did that by choosing to run on intermediates at the very last moment. Equally, Michelin supplied us with tyres that were perfectly suited to the conditions. I am very pleased to see Jarno take his second pole position, and we are confident that we can make good use of our grid positions in tomorrow's race."

Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager:

"It is extremely satisfying to see both cars qualify in the top three, particularly as today's running was disrupted so severely. Fortunately, we are confident that we are in a strong position for tomorrow's race: we completed more laps yesterday than many of our competitors, and collected a significant amount of useful information. That gives us real hope for the Grand Prix."

Jarno Trulli
Chassis: R24-04
1:56.232, 1st

Fernando Alonso
Chassis: R24-02
1:56.686, 3rd

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Michael Schumacher , Fernando Alonso
Teams Renault F1 Team