The ING Renault F1 Team today continued its test programme at Spa-Francorchamps in preparation for the Belgian Grand Prix, in September, as well as pursuing the technical development programme for the coming races. Heikki Kovalainen was in...
The ING Renault F1 Team today continued its test programme at Spa-Francorchamps in preparation for the Belgian Grand Prix, in September, as well as pursuing the technical development programme for the coming races.
Heikki Kovalainen was in action for the team today, driving at the Belgian circuit for the first time in an F1 car. The Finn enjoyed a dry morning, during which he was able to complete a set-up programme, allowing him to find a stable handling balance with the car.
It then began raining, disrupting the planned programme. The team made the most of the conditions to fine-tune the car's handling in the wet, which was all the more important because rain is often a factor at the Belgian race. By the end of the day, Heikki had covered 44 laps, equating to 308 km. He set third fastest time with a best lap of 1:47.754, set at the end of the morning session.
"I raced at this track in GP2 a couple of years ago, but the first time in an F1 car is always a bit different, no matter which circuit it is. The car balance was good straight away, and I think we have a good baseline to work from at the GP weekend."
"We then tried to get the most out of the changing track conditions by working on tuning the set-up for the wet conditions, particularly focusing on the control systems. That was a good programme, and we found some interesting things. In spite of the changeable weather, I think we got the most out of the day, and the results were encouraging."
Christian Silk, Chief Test Engineer:
"The poor conditions certainly cost us track time today, but it was important to prepare for the possibility of rain during the race weekend in September. We did different length runs, on different tyres, in different conditions to learn as much as possible."
"Heikki got to grips with the circuit revisions very quickly and was quite pleased with the car balance and handling. We will be looking to complete a busy day of work tomorrow with Giancarlo, our last day of this test, as we try and make up some of the time we lost today."
44 laps, 308 km
Best lap: 1:47.754