Japanese GP: Renault Friday practice notes

Fernando eighth and Fisico fourteenth after day one of practice at Suzuka, but no cause for concern as rain disrupts play in Japon. The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team experienced an unusual opening day of practice for the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix in...

Fernando eighth and Fisico fourteenth after day one of practice at Suzuka, but no cause for concern as rain disrupts play in Japon.

The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team experienced an unusual opening day of practice for the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, with predictions of poor weather during the afternoon leading the team to adapt its programme and run many more laps than usual in the day's opening session.

The decision paid off: while the rain came a little later than expected, track conditions worsened through the afternoon session and made effective tyre comparisons or set-up work difficult to complete. The timesheets showed the team in its usual unobtrusive Friday position, around the fringes of the top ten, but happy with the work that had been completed during the day.

Fernando Alonso:

"It is all OK from my point of view. We expected rain in the afternoon so ran a lot in the first session, which was quite difficult for the drivers. When you come to Suzuka, it is such a technical circuit that it takes some time to get the best out of yourself, and also out of the car."

"So doing tyre comparisons without any practice laps, or judging set-up changes, is not very easy. But I think we looked reasonably quick, and there is more potential in the car and myself to improve. The car balance felt pretty good, so I am quite happy."

Giancarlo Fisichella:

"It was a reasonable day for me. We did our normal job comparing the tyres, and a little bit of set-up work this morning, then things were harder this afternoon as the circuit grip seemed lower, and it started raining. The balance still has too much oversteer for me, but we can fix that, and I think our speed is not too bad. We should be aiming for the front rows in qualifying."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"We ran our programme slightly differently today, doing more laps than usual in P1 as we feared it would rain during the second session. As it turned out, the rain arrived later than anticipated, but even though the condition of the circuit was not ideal in the first session, we got the minimum amount of information we needed to make our tyre choice and get a feeling for the set-up we need, should the rain continue."

"Currently our forecasts suggest it will be wet tomorrow, so I am happy with the work we have done. The other important event of the day was Raikkonen's engine failure, but it doesn't change anything for us: we are racing both cars, and need to beat them both to win the constructors' championship."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations:

"It was a normal day on the engine side -- we concentrated on our standard pre-race preparations, fine-tuning the mapping and optimising the performance of the RS25 V10 at this circuit. Both engines are beginning their second race weekend, and we encountered no problems at all. Things were more difficult on the chassis side, with the poor weather forcing the team to adjust the programme, but we got the information we needed."

"Overall, it is hard to draw any firm conclusions from today's running in terms of our overall speed, as the timesheets at the end of both sessions had a somewhat unfamiliar look. But we are confident we have prepared ourselves well, and that we will be in good shape for the race -- whatever the weather conditions tomorrow."

Fernando Alonso
Chassis: R25-07
8th, 29 laps, 1:33.259


Giancarlo Fisichella
Chassis: R25-04
14th, 26 laps, 1:34.400

-renault-

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