The ING Renault F1 Team enjoyed a competitive qualifying session this afternoon with Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet securing 4th and 12th places respectively on the grid for tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix. After a damp morning practice...
The ING Renault F1 Team enjoyed a competitive qualifying session this afternoon with Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet securing 4th and 12th places respectively on the grid for tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix.
After a damp morning practice session, the track had dried out in time for the qualifying hour. Both Renault drivers progressed through the first part of qualifying as Nelson secured 12th, while Fernando progressed through to the top ten shootout to grab a second row starting position.
Those positions leave Renault well placed to mount a strong challenge in tomorrow's race where the team will aim to continue its run of points scoring finishes.
Fernando Alonso P4
"We can be happy with fourth place, which is a good result and the work we did yesterday certainly paid us back today. We had a bit of trouble in Q2, but in Q3 with fuel on board the car felt good, which is encouraging for the race tomorrow and I think we can realistically aim for a top five finish."
Nelson Piquet P12
"I am very disappointed as I made a mistake in Q2 and I wasn't able to make it through to Q3. It's all the more frustrating because the car was really working well and I was feeling comfortable with it. I won't give up, but I know that the race tomorrow will be difficult and so I will do all that I can to try and fight through the field."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering
"Fernando's position on the grid is as high as we could have hoped for and so we are satisfied with our afternoon and hopeful of a strong race tomorrow. Nelson has had an excellent weekend as he showed with his 7th position in Q1, but unfortunately in Q2 things did not really go as we would have wished. Nevertheless, he has been quick and we hope we can have a strong race with him as well tomorrow. "
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations
"Once again, qualifying was very close and the competition to reach Q3 was extremely competitive. There are obviously still lots of unknowns at this stage of the weekend, but we have opted for an appropriate strategy and I think we can hope for a good result tomorrow with Fernando. For Nelson, we will think things over this evening and try and find a strategy that will allow him to do something in the race, but we know we must not underestimate our rivals in the fight for fourth in the championship."