The ING Renault F1 Team enjoyed a competitive qualifying session this afternoon as Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet qualified in 6th and 7th places for tomorrow's British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Overcast conditions were the order of the day with the threat of rain remaining throughout the qualifying hour. Some light rain did fall towards the end of the Q1, but the track soon dried out to leave good track conditions for Q2 and Q3.
Both Fernando and Nelson progressed comfortably through to Q2, and then confirmed their strong practice pace to reach Q3 for the top ten shoot-out, where they secured their third and fourth row starting slots. Those positions leave the team well placed to make the most of its local race tomorrow with rain showers once again forecast.
Fernando Alonso P6
"It was a difficult qualifying session with changeable track conditions, wind and rain. But we have done our maximum and so overall it's a satisfying result for the team. If the race tomorrow takes place in normal conditions, we can hope to have a strong finish. If it rains, the race will be open and anything can happen. I must now prepare for that and will give my all once again to achieve a good result."
Nelson Piquet P7
"I'm very happy with today's qualifying session. The car felt good and we were improving lap by lap. I struggled a bit at the end of Q3 with Heidfeld, but it worked out OK in the end and so it does look promising for tomorrow. Now I'm looking forward to the race and I hope we can put on a good show in the team's local race."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering
"An exciting qualifying session, with one eye on what the cars were doing and one eye on the weather. But overall it was a very satisfying session with both cars solidly inside the top ten on good fuel loads. Tomorrow is going to be exciting, mainly due to unpredictable weather, but we've put ourselves in the best position to exploit anything that may come."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations
"It was essential to secure ourselves some good grid positions today, especially as we can expect changeable conditions tomorrow and an eventful race. We made it through to Q3 without any problems with both cars, which is satisfying, especially for Nelson who has shown that he is able to manage the demands of a competitive qualifying session. I think that we can have high hopes for the race tomorrow, and hopefully we will be in a position to realise them."