US GP: Renault Friday practice notes

The Renault F1 Team began its United States Grand Prix weekend with a solid afternoon of set-up work and tyre testing today at Indianapolis. After sitting out the opening practice session to preserve engine life -- an even more critical factor...

The Renault F1 Team began its United States Grand Prix weekend with a solid afternoon of set-up work and tyre testing today at Indianapolis.

After sitting out the opening practice session to preserve engine life -- an even more critical factor this weekend, on such a demanding circuit for the V8 units -- the team conducted its normal initial set-up tuning and tyre evaluation during the afternoon.

Both drivers made progress with the set-ups of their R26 cars and assessed the performance of the Michelin tyres. As ever, though, the Friday times are no reliable indicator of form, and the true picture of relative competitiveness will only begin to emerge tomorrow.

Giancarlo Fisichella:

"This was one of the best Friday sessions of the season so far for me. The R26 felt comfortable to drive straight away, and as we made set-up changes it got better and better. The balance is quite good, and we know we are moving in the right direction. We have understood how the tyres are working as well, so it all looks encouraging for tomorrow."

Fernando Alonso:

"This was a normal Friday for me. The grip levels are quite low at the moment, but that was the only major problem and the balance of the car feels OK. Friday is all about understanding the tyre behaviour and what direction you need to go in with set-up, which we have done. The circuit grip will improve as we run more, so the track should come to us a little bit, and I am confident for the rest of the weekend.

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"We had a useful Friday. When the cars began running, they already had a reasonable balance and the changes we made during the afternoon helped improve both the driveability and grip. We have begun to get a picture of the tyre behaviour, and there were no problems in any area. All in all, a good, solid start to the weekend."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Trackside Engine Operations:

"As we have become used to seeing during the first half of the season, the amount of running we conduct on Friday is dictated by constraints of engine life and tyre usage. This is doubly true at Indianapolis, where the extended period of time spent at full throttle offers the engines a considerable challenge."

"So we ran a normal programme, finalising the mapping of Giancarlo's brand new V8 unit and Fernando's race-old engine, while the chassis engineers worked to tune the chassis behaviour. Everything ran smoothly, and we have collected our usual data for overnight analysis."

Giancarlo Fisichella: 3rd
17 laps total
Time: 1:12.933

Fernando Alonso: 9th
15 laps total
Time: 1:13.474

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