US GP: Renault Friday practice notes

The circuit was quite dirty during the morning session, which led the team to limit its mileage and only use a single set of hard tyres on each car as the drivers and engineers began tuning the set-up of the R27 during the first ninety minutes of...

The circuit was quite dirty during the morning session, which led the team to limit its mileage and only use a single set of hard tyres on each car as the drivers and engineers began tuning the set-up of the R27 during the first ninety minutes of practice.

This afternoon, though, the drivers were able to conduct a major programme of set-up improvements and tyre comparisons, steadily improving the car's handling and posting consistent, competitive lap-times on the longer runs.

There is still work to be done overnight to fine-tune the handling balance of the car, which is currently tending towards understeer for both drivers, and the team will look to build on this solid platform through the rest of the weekend.

Heikki Kovalainen:

"After the problems last week in Canada, this was just the kind of day I wanted: no technical problems, and lots of laps on the board. We got a lot done, and improved the car with every run. There is still a little way to go in order to dial out some of the understeer we are suffering from, but we will work hard overnight to find some more performance."

"It was important to have a trouble-free day because this is another new track for me. I found a good rhythm pretty quickly and I have to say that I think it's a fun circuit to drive. I have heard some people complaining that it is not challenging enough, but I don't agree. There are some nice sequences of corners, and you can really attack the curves and the exit kerbs too."

"We know from the past that the lap-times here are always extremely close in qualifying, because it is such a short lap. That means it will be vital to get 100% out of the car tomorrow afternoon -- and I am confident we can do it.

Giancarlo Fisichella:

"I must admit that I came out of the session a little bit confused. You always expect to find more grip when you run the softer tyre, but I didn't feel a big step in performance today, and we will have to work this evening to understand why. The car had quite a lot of understeer this morning, and we have worked to get rid of it step by step."

"There are still some improvements to be made, but we are getting there. I had a very positive feeling last week in Montreal, and it is not the same here today. The times make the situation look worse than it is, because I was held up on my quickest lap, but I think it is going to be a tougher race in terms of competitiveness than last weekend."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"We ran our normal, rigorous Friday programme which included a comprehensive evaluation of both types of tyre. This is a demanding circuit for the tyres, and we have relatively little knowledge of the tyre behaviour as we run here just once a year. The drivers seem pretty happy with the general balance, although there is still some room for improvement, and our general level of competitiveness seems to be where we expected."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations:

"As always during practice on a circuit we visit just once a year, we had a full programme of calibration and tuning to conduct, in order to optimise the performance of the RS27 V8."

"Indianapolis is a circuit of contrasting halves, combining a demanding, prolonged period of over 20 seconds at full throttle with a sinuous infield that demands a tractable, progressive engine. The positive point of the day is that we encountered no problems, and we will look to maintain that positive trend for the rest of the weekend."

Giancarlo Fisichella
Chassis: R27-05)
Free Practice 1: 16th, 19 laps, 1:14.000
Free Practice 2: 15th, 44 laps, 1:13.394

Heikki Kovalainen
Chassis: R27-02, T-car
Free Practice 1: 19th, 18 laps, 1:14.189
Free Practice 2: 8th, 48 laps, 1:13.110

-credit: renault

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