The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team completed a solid first day's work during free practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Three days of testing on this circuit last week saw the team collect a significant amount of data during 2000km of running,...
The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team completed a solid first day's work during free practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Three days of testing on this circuit last week saw the team collect a significant amount of data during 2000km of running, meaning today's programme was reduced relative to a normal Grand Prix weekend.
Today's two practice sessions were therefore dedicated to tuning work, and as expected, produced an extremely tightly grouped set of times, with the two Renaults finishing amidst their direct competitors.
"It was a normal Friday for me: as usual, we had to evaluate the tyres and collect enough data in these conditions to make the right choice. In terms of set-up, we need to improve the car for tomorrow: the R24 lacks grip at the moment and it feels very slippery on the circuit. When you are running with low downforce levels like we do here, you need to be able to drive with precision and today I was struggling to find my braking points. The grip levels will improve during the weekend, which should help us, but we need to improve our baseline performance as well."
"I struggled to find a good balance today: the car was oversteering and the track conditions were not great, with low levels of grip. We have a few small problems to solve on the car for tomorrow and taking that into account, our performance is not too bad."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"Following our three days of testing at this circuit last week, we did not expect today's running to generate too many surprises - and that proved to be the case. Our day was devoted to making our tyre choice and this confirmed our initial conclusions from the test. The car balance is not perfect but that is normal for a Friday: both drivers have found the car unstable at the rear, which is understandable given the low levels of downforce here at Monza, and we will tune the set-up tomorrow to improve the handling. Overall, we completed a smooth, well-organised day."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager:
"On the engine side, our work today was reduced significantly by last week's test session. Circuit-specific parameters such as oil levels, fuel consumption and cooling had already been calculated, which meant much of our normal Friday programme did not need to be run. Consequently, we spent the day fine-tuning the engine for the ambient conditions but overall, learned little new information."
"The two sessions proved the competition will be extremely close, as expected, and we find ourselves in our traditional Friday positions among the top ten runners. However, only eight tenths of a second cover the top nine cars, and we will need to continue to make progress tomorrow ahead of what we expect to be a very tight qualifying session."
Practice session 1: 1:21.778, 10 laps, 5th
Practice session 2: 1:21.630, 18 laps, 9th
Practice session 1: 1:22.052, 11 laps, 7th
Practice session 2: 1:22.191, 19 laps, 11th