Turkish GP: Renault Saturday qualifying notes

Two Renaults in the top three with Fisico second and Fernando third on the grid. The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team put two cars in the top three positions on the grid for tomorrow's Turkish Grand Prix at the Istanbul Park circuit. Giancarlo ...

Two Renaults in the top three with Fisico second and Fernando third on the grid.

The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team put two cars in the top three positions on the grid for tomorrow's Turkish Grand Prix at the Istanbul Park circuit. Giancarlo Fisichella completed a strong lap to take his second front row grid position of the season, while team-mate Fernando Alonso finished third, just one hundredth of a second behind the Italian. The team's championship rivals McLaren sandwich the two Renaults on the grid, and the stage is set for an intriguing battle in tomorrow afternoon's race.

Giancarlo Fisichella:

"It is great to be on the front row for tomorrow's race. We have worked hard this weekend to get a good set-up on the car, and the team has done a great job, which you can see from the grid positions. The only problem with my lap was when I came up on Barrichello at the end -- we were very close through turns 12 and 13, and it disrupted my concentration, costing me a couple of tenths. Everything else went well though, so I am very positive for tomorrow."

Fernando Alonso:

"The conditions were much windier this afternoon than we had in practice, and we saw that it was a difficult qualifying session for all the drivers as lots of people went off. In that situation, you have to take the gamble of either taking some risks, or being conservative: I pushed hard and came through OK, so it is great to be third, on the clean side of the grid."

"The wind actually surprised me a little bit down the back straight -- it was a strong tailwind, and I braked at my normal point but missed the apex, which cost me some time. We have both cars in the top three and I will go into the race with the aim of trying to beat Kimi."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"To have both cars within the top three on the grid is a very pleasing team result. It was not easy to get the tyres working well over a single lap this afternoon, but both drivers did a very good job on their out-laps and got the most out of the car."

"Giancarlo was unfortunate to be delayed by Barrichello at the end of his lap, which certainly cost him a couple of tenths, while without a mistake after being caught out by the wind in sector 3, Fernando might have been on pole. But we have good grid positions, a good strategy: the stage is set for strong performances from both drivers."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations:

"We have heard the drivers telling us that this was a demanding circuit since the beginning of the weekend, and this afternoon's qualifying session was the proof. This was undoubtedly the most incident-filled session of the year, and both Giancarlo and Fernando did well to complete clean, competitive laps. The front two rows crystallise neatly the battle we will be fighting tomorrow, against McLaren, and the slightest of errors will be severely punished."

"Of course, tomorrow's race will be long and hot -- and demanding for the engines, on a circuit where overtaking is possible. So far, the RS25 has performed faultlessly and both cars have shown competitive top speeds. We are confident that we have the tools at our disposal to take the fight to McLaren."

Giancarlo Fisichella
2nd, 1:27.039
Fernando Alonso
3rd, 1:27.050

-renault-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Fernando Alonso
Teams McLaren , Renault F1 Team