Spanish GP: Renault Saturday qualifying notes

The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team achieved its best qualifying performance of the 2004 season today at the Spanish Grand Prix. Jarno Trulli will begin tomorrow's race from fourth position, which Fernando Alonso starts on the fourth row, in eighth.

The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team achieved its best qualifying performance of the 2004 season today at the Spanish Grand Prix. Jarno Trulli will begin tomorrow's race from fourth position, which Fernando Alonso starts on the fourth row, in eighth. However, a gusting wind during qualifying unsettled both drivers: having found a good balance for the flying lap, the wind rendered the cars unstable and inconsistent.

Jarno Trulli, 4th

"The conditions today were extremely difficult -- the wind really affected all the drivers, I think. It's a shame that we couldn't make it into the top three, but I'm still pleased with my best qualifying performance of the year. The handling was hard to judge during the timed lap because it was so windy, but the car balance had been good in pre-qualifying. Starting from fourth position, I will be aiming for a strong result tomorrow."

Fernando Alonso, 8th

"This afternoon the main factor was the wind. It was gusting very strongly while I was on the circuit, but most importantly it was very inconsistent: sometimes a tailwind, sometimes a headwind. It made it difficult to have confidence in the car's reactions, because it was changing at every corner. We weren't very quick in pre-qualifying, but we made some changes to make the rear end less nervous. It will be a tough race from eighth position, and our competitors are very close, but we know the R24 is competitive in race trim and I am hoping to run a strong race for my fans tomorrow."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"It was a fantastic lap from Jarno, and he well deserves his spot on the second row. He and his team worked hard on the balance of his car this morning, and this result reflects how good a job they did. If he makes a good start, I think we could see him challenging hard on the first lap."

As for Fernando, he did not have much luck at his home race. Our data indicates it was a good lap, but the gusty conditions were near their peak at that time and he found the car was even moving about on the straight because of the wind, which gives some measure of how difficult a task he had. However, it will be a close fight tomorrow and as we have seen on a number of occasions this year, he is capable of a very strong result from eighth; for Jarno, a podium finish is a realistic objective."

Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager:

"This was our best qualifying performance of the year so far: Jarno is in a perfect position to fight at the front tomorrow, while Fernando will undoubtedly put in an aggressive drive from eighth. Our programmes today went perfectly according to plan, and in light of the hierarchy we have seen appear this weekend, we have the logical hope of seeing at least one Renault on the podium tomorrow."

Jarno Trulli
Qualifying 1: 1:16.156, 5th
Qualifying 2: 1:16.144, 4th

Fernando Alonso
Qualifying 1: 1:17.011, 15th
Qualifying 2: 1:16.422, 8th

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Fernando Alonso
Teams Renault F1 Team