The ING Renault F1 Team's preparations for Sunday's British Grand Prix got underway at Silverstone today as both Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet took advantage of the three hours of free practice to complete their Friday programmes.
Conditions were ideal for both sessions, allowing the team to make good progress with its workload. Having already tested here last week, the team was able to concentrate on fine-tuning the balance of the car and set-up adjustments. There was also the opportunity to complete some tyre assessment with the two compounds of Bridgestone tyres.
By the end of the day Fernando and Nelson had covered a total of 95 laps between them, building on the work completed last week, and leaving the team hopeful of a competitive weekend. The team will analyse the data collected this evening and look to maximise the final free practice session tomorrow morning to be in good shape for qualifying.
"It was a usual day of practice, except for a problem this morning which cost me a little track time. My mechanics did a remarkable job to fix the car and I was able to continue normally with my programme in the afternoon. I mainly concentrated on evaluating the tyres and set-up work based on the information we collected last week. We must now try and make the most of the final practice session tomorrow morning, but we are going in the right direction."
"My day went well as I was able to do lots of laps and complete my programme. So we end the first day of work with lots of information, which completes the work we had already started last week. Our times today were not especially significant as the main priority was to complete the programme, which we did. Overall, I am rather optimistic as we approach the weekend."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering
"Having tested here recently, we were aware of what areas of our investigations needed completing, and looking at the times of some of our competitors, it seems that they were in a similar situation. Our focus has obviously been on race preparation, and the balance of the cars is normal for a Friday."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations
"Our test engines today had a similar risk to the one that broke at the last race in Magny-Cours. So the engine problem for Fernando is something that we were already aware of and had identified, and that is going to help our understanding of the problem that is affecting us at the moment. However, for the race engines, we have already taken a number of precautions and we are therefore not particularly worried for the race this weekend."