German GP: Renault Friday practice notes

The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team experienced a slightly disrupted opening day of practice for the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim. In much cooler than usual weather conditions, both drivers failed to run in the opening session through technical ...

The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team experienced a slightly disrupted opening day of practice for the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim. In much cooler than usual weather conditions, both drivers failed to run in the opening session through technical problems before catching up on their tyre comparison programmes in the afternoon.

The cool conditions meant grip levels were very poor, and the drivers therefore found it difficult to get a good feeling for the car's performance; however, the relative competitiveness of the cars seems encouraging, and they completed enough laps to be able to make an informed tyre choice.

Fernando Alonso:

"The cold temperatures meant the grip levels on the track were very low today, which always makes the car hard to drive -- it was really hard to brake properly today and stop the car for the hairpins. Apart from the problems caused by the low track temperature, the car actually felt pretty good: the balance was consistent, and we are higher up the times than usual for a Friday -- I am the second fastest race driver. So it was a pretty good day overall, but the conditions were just very tricky."

Giancarlo Fisichella:

"The circuit was extremely slippery this afternoon -- I was locking the front brakes into all of the slow corners, and it was really hard to find the grip we needed to attack the braking zones. The low temperatures also seemed to give the car a bit of understeer, but after talking to Fernando, I know it was the same for him -- and probably the others too. Apart from that, the car felt very consistent on the longer runs, but McLaren looked pretty quick too..."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"We experienced a very difficult start to the day when both cars were sidelined by software problems in P1. However, we ran well in P2 to make up the lost time, although Giancarlo's programme was slightly compromised when he had a small collision with one of the Minardis. This resulted in our having to change the wheel, and therefore he was unable to complete a full comparison of the tyre types."

"Fernando's programme ran quite smoothly though, and we have the data we need to make our tyre choice. The cold temperatures meant grip levels were very low, but I am sure this was the same for everyone -- and worse, the situation looks unlikely to change for Sunday, so we will have to work around this through the weekend."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations:

"Hockenheim is a demanding circuit for the engines, and as this is our second race with these V10s, we obviously did not want to place them under undue stress today -- while still retaining enough performance to make our tyre choice. Otherwise, our routines are now well established for Friday practice, and we worked on detail tuning to adapt the characteristics of the RS25 to this circuit.

"The main difference compared to a traditional Hockenheim weekend is the cold weather -- something that has affected our tyre programme today, and will continue to influence our performance through the weekend."

Fernando Alonso
Chassis: R25-04
36 laps in total
3rd, 1:15.560

Giancarlo Fisichella
Chassis: R25-06
30 laps in total
6th, 1:16.146

-renault-

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