Turkish GP: Renault Saturday qualifying notes

After making steady progress improving the car's handling balance during the weekend's three practice sessions, both drivers qualified in the top ten for the first time since Silverstone, confirming the progress made by the R27 in recent weeks....

After making steady progress improving the car's handling balance during the weekend's three practice sessions, both drivers qualified in the top ten for the first time since Silverstone, confirming the progress made by the R27 in recent weeks. The latest developments were designed to improve the car's consistency and driveability over a full race distance, and the team is optimistic that both drivers will be able to demonstrate this tomorrow, running competitive strategies from their respective grid positions.

Heikki Kovalainen: 7th

"I needed a good qualifying session today, after failing to make it into the top ten in Hungary. We worked out the problems we had in Budapest, and we were more careful in our approach. That paid off because we were back on our normal pace. The team has done a great job throughout the weekend to improve the car, and I want to thank my engineers and mechanics for all their hard work since Thursday. The balance was consistent, and we had a good level of performance on both types of tyre."

"Clearly, we are still some way off the top teams, but if we keep our heads down and carry on working, then we know we will get there. First priority, though, is tomorrow's race. I think we are in a good position, and the strategy is the right one. Hopefully we can consolidate our position, and try to race with the cars in front."

Giancarlo Fisichella: 10th

"This wasn't a brilliant session for me. I was struggling with the balance as it was quite windy and the car was understeering for a lot of the lap. In terms of competitiveness, we are in our usual position behind the top three teams. The conditions tomorrow will be extremely hot, and I am expecting a tough race. The target will be to out-race the cars immediately around us, and to try and make up some positions to get into the points."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"Overall, it was a successful day for the team. We completed our technical programme this morning, working through a number of different set-up possibilities, and then put that knowledge to good use this afternoon. Given the fuel load we are carrying, I think we are in competitive grid positions. Both types of Bridgestone tyre performed well during qualifying, and the car balance is reasonable for what will be a long, hot race tomorrow afternoon."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations:

"The final times from the second part of qualifying showed how competitive the field is behind the top three teams, and we achieved out potential today, by performing at the head of that group and putting both cars in the top ten."

"Looking ahead to tomorrow, both engines are performing strongly and are more than capable of withstanding the extremely high temperatures. The top three teams are clearly a step ahead of us, but we have the pace to maintain our current positions, and we will look to make the most of any unusual events at the front of the field to make up ground."

Giancarlo Fisichella: 10th
Chassis: R27-05
Time: 1:29.322

Heikki Kovalainen: 7th
Chassis: R27-03
Time: 1:28.491

-credit: renault

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Heikki Kovalainen