Canadian GP: Renault Friday practice notes

The Renault F1 Team began its Canadian Grand Prix weekend in typical fashion today in Montreal, completing its baseline preparation for the race weekend as they evaluated tyre performance and assessed grip levels. As usual at the rarely-used...

The Renault F1 Team began its Canadian Grand Prix weekend in typical fashion today in Montreal, completing its baseline preparation for the race weekend as they evaluated tyre performance and assessed grip levels. As usual at the rarely-used Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, grip levels were poor throughout the day as the track gradually "rubbered in" during the practice sessions.

Nevertheless, both drivers were relatively pleased with the handling of the R26 as they worked to fine-tune the set-up and also get used to driving the car in the low-downforce configuration required in Montreal.

Fernando Alonso:

"Everything was OK for me today. The circuit grip was poor, as normal on Friday in Montreal, and it was improving all the time which we have to anticipate for tomorrow and Sunday with the car set-up. The only problem we had today was with quite poor braking stability, but that is also a question of getting used to driving the car with this downforce level and its lower grip levels. Overall, though, it was a good first day."

Giancarlo Fisichella:

"I had a good first feeling from today's practice sessions. The overall grip levels are very low, and that made it difficult to evaluate the changes we made to the set-up because the handling is quite inconsistent. However, the basic balance of the car seems good, and the tyre performance is encouraging. So I think we can be competitive this weekend."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"As we always expect in Montreal on a Friday, the grip levels were relatively low but in spite of this, the balance of the car seems OK. We did not have any particular problems today, the tyres seemed to be performing well and our straightline speeds are competitive. So far, so good, and everything is going as expected."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Trackside Engine Operations:

"This is a circuit we know well from previous years, so we were able to run our normal Friday programme today, assessing the engine's performance on this circuit with the car in low-downforce configuration. As always in Montreal, the wind direction is a parameter we must account for in our choice of gear ratios, and that was the case again today with a strong tailwind down the main straight."

"Giancarlo's engine is completing its second race weekend, while Fernando's unit is on its first race and has a demanding cycle ahead of it. The timesheets were as difficult to read as always on a Friday, but we managed to establish a solid platform to work from throughout the rest of the weekend."

Fernando Alonso: 2nd
17 laps total
Time: 1:17.095

Giancarlo Fisichella: 6th
22 laps total
Time: 1:17.805

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Fernando Alonso , Gilles Villeneuve
Teams Renault F1 Team