The ING Renault F1 Team enjoyed a trouble-free, busy opening day of practice for the 2007 European Grand Prix this weekend at the Nurburgring. Giancarlo and Heikki completed busy programmes in both the morning and afternoon sessions, conducting ...
The ING Renault F1 Team enjoyed a trouble-free, busy opening day of practice for the 2007 European Grand Prix this weekend at the Nurburgring. Giancarlo and Heikki completed busy programmes in both the morning and afternoon sessions, conducting baseline set-up work, comparing the two tyre types available and assessing the new aerodynamic package available to the team this weekend.
As always, the programmes focused on race preparations on heavy fuel loads but unusually, the drivers did not get clean, flying laps on soft tyres at the end of the session, unlike many other competitors. Therefore, while the headline times may seem unimpressive, the team is satisfied with its day's work and confident that after rigorous overnight analysis, it will transform these preparations into a competitive qualifying performance tomorrow.
"It was a normal Friday for us. As usual, we did our race preparation today, working to find a good baseline set-up for Sunday, and to look at the tyres. There is still some work to do overnight to get the balance right, and we need to improve our competitiveness a little bit too. But we have seen many times this season, that we are a little far away on Friday -- and more competitive in qualifying and the race. We did our job today, and completed our programme. Now we need to follow our plans and analyse the data in order to achieve a good level of competitiveness in qualifying tomorrow.
"The main thing for us today was to do our usual tyre comparison, which we managed and got a good answer from. The set-up programme was busy too, and while not all the changes were positive today, we have found the direction to go in for tomorrow. The car is not as stable as usual at the moment, so we need to improve that area to find more lap-time. The job now is to get our heads down, understand where we can make the car better for tomorrow's practice session, and to have a trouble-free morning to prepare for qualifying."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"Just as we found last year, grip levels during first practice were extremely low, and it was very difficult to get the car working well in those conditions. Fortunately, the heavy rain at lunchtime did not affect our programmes too much, and the car was working much better in second practice. As usual, we remained on a high fuel load throughout the day, as we looked at the behaviour of the two types of tyre and evaluated our new aero package."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations:
"Moving into the second half of the season, our technical programmes for Friday practice are well-established, especially at a circuit we know well such as the Nurburgring. We had anticipated disrupted running after seeing heavy rain forecast but, in the end, it had minimal impact on our work and the atmospheric conditions were within normal limits."
"This circuit presents the unusual characteristic of being situated at altitude, which in fact makes life easier for certain moving parts of the engine, but our work focused, as usual, on optimising areas such as engine mapping and gear ratios. The day went smoothly, with no problems, and we have a good basis from which to fine-tune our performance ahead of qualifying."
Free Practice 1: 19th, 1:35.077, 22 laps
Free Practice 2: 15th, 1:34.431, 28 laps
Chassis: R27-02, T-car
Free Practice 1: 18th, 1:34.921, 21 laps
Free Practice 2: 16th, 1:34.446, 25 laps