The Renault F1 Team continues its winter testing programme at Jerez.
After three days of testing in Barcelona last week, the Renault F1 Team has set up shop in Jerez, near Seville, for six days of testing over the coming fortnight.
The first three days of testing in Andalucia will build on last week's work in Catalonia, collecting additional data on the performance of the new Bridgestone tyres while completing maximum mileage to build reliability with the new 2007-specification gearbox. The team's drivers this week will be the 2007 race line-up: Giancarlo Fisichella, in his first run since the Brazilian Grand Prix, and Heikki Kovalainen.
Giancarlo Fisichella's first day was all about finding his way with the Bridgestone tyres and beginning the learning process with the new rubber. Across the garage, Heikki Kovalainen's week of running in Barcelona meant he was able to work on a chassis set-up programme. The focus of the programme was to understand the tyre's characteristics compared to those noted last week, and to learn about their performance on this circuit, which is particularly demanding for the rear tyres.
A wet track this morning meant the team delayed its programme in order to run in optimum conditions. However, the drivers still managed a total of 116 laps, and made good progress with their week's work. Giancarlo Fisichella finished his first day back at the wheel in 14th position, while Heikki Kovalainen was 9th fastest in 1:20.784.
"This was a good day back at work for me. I didn't run much this morning, and I was just concentrating on learning about the new tyres. I learned some useful things today, and will continue in the same direction tomorrow."
"We lost a lot of running time this morning because it took a long time for the track to dry out properly, and we didn't see any point in running when the track wasn't ready. In spite of that, we did some important tests that help us better understand our conclusions from Barcelona, and that is a good step. We were not looking to set quick times, but instead focusing on the programme, and our progress meant it was a positive day for the team."
Christian Silk, Chief Test Engineer:
"We found some interesting directions for the rest of the week on Heikki's car, while Giancarlo basically found his feet with the new tyres. The morning session was not very productive owing to the conditions, but I think we managed to do some good work in the circumstances, and given ourselves a good platform for the rest of the week."