The ING Renault F1 Team today commenced its first three-day test session at Bahrain's Sakhir circuit. After working for much of the winter in Spain, the team -- and eight of its rivals -- decided upon two pre-season development sessions in warmer...
The ING Renault F1 Team today commenced its first three-day test session at Bahrain's Sakhir circuit. After working for much of the winter in Spain, the team -- and eight of its rivals -- decided upon two pre-season development sessions in warmer conditions, at the circuit that will host the third round of this year's championship.
After a European programme that was disrupted by inclement weather, forecasts at Sakhir leave the team optimistic of productive conditions for the final stage of the R27's pre-season development. The team and drivers will have the opportunity to assess the car's handling in warmer conditions, as well as assessing the behaviour of the Bridgestone Potenza tyres at higher track temperatures than those encountered in Europe.
In addition to providing the opportunity for running in warmer conditions, the two final tests of the season give the team a final opportunity to practice procedures before the season begins. Consequently, the ING Renault F1 Team race team is present in Bahrain, in addition to the test team.
Heikki Kovalainen and Nelson Piquet Jr. are representing the team this week, and completed a solid first day's work. The target for this morning was to complete race distances while the track was still dirty, and both drivers achieved this without any problems. The two drivers subsequently began set-up programmes during the afternoon, collecting promising data for the coming days.
At the end of the day, the team had completed a total of 205 laps. Heikki Kovalainen finished the day eleventh, in 1'33.579, while Nelson Piquet Jr. was twelve with a best lap of 1'33.807.
"The track conditions were pretty good straight away this morning, and that allowed us to begin our programme immediately. We did the planned race distance without any problems, which was a good start, and we then worked on car set-up, which gives us a good basis for the rest of the week."
Nelson Piquet Jr:
"We had a busy morning, and did fewer laps this afternoon. Overall, track conditions were good, and I liked the track. I am looking forward to beginning the main part of my programme tomorrow."
Christian Silk, Chief test engineer:
"We got plenty of mileage under our belts during our first day of testing. Both drivers completed race simulations without any problems, and began some set-up work, which confirmed our conclusion from recent weeks. It was an encouraging start to the programme, and we hope to continue in the same manner tomorrow."
Best lap: 1:33.579
Nelson Piquet Jr.
Best lap: 1:33.807