US GP: Renault Saturday qualifying notes

Fernando ninth but optimistic; Jarno last after a steering wheel problem caused gear selection difficulties. Qualifying for the US Grand Prix proved disappointing for the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team this afternoon at Indianapolis. Jarno Trulli ...

Fernando ninth but optimistic; Jarno last after a steering wheel problem caused gear selection difficulties.

Qualifying for the US Grand Prix proved disappointing for the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team this afternoon at Indianapolis. Jarno Trulli failed to set a time following what the team currently believes to be a steering wheel problem that prevented him from changing gear properly. As for Fernando Alonso, he took ninth spot in an extremely tightly-packed field, and is optimistic for tomorrow's race.

Fernando Alonso:

"We have improved the car a lot since yesterday, and the engineers have done a great job to give us a much more competitive car. I didn't have any problems on my lap, and made no mistakes; in fact, I am feeling quite confident for tomorrow. I am only starting from ninth, but the times are very close and given our fuel load, I think we are on a good strategy. The tyres are working well, so everything is in place for a strong race."

Jarno Trulli:

"Naturally, I'm extremely disappointed. I had trouble exiting the garage because first gear would not engage, and then the car would not change gear properly on my lap; at this time, we think the problem was caused by the steering wheel. Looking ahead, it will be tough race tomorrow but we can still look to score points."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"The times are extremely tight, with only 12 hundredths of a second separating 5th and 9th positions. Unfortunately for Fernando, he has found himself at the back of this group, but we will need to watch the race and our rivals' strategies unfold in order to judge exactly what this signifies."

"We have worked steadily on the balance of the cars and while it will never be perfect on this kind of circuit, I think we are in reasonable shape for the race. Jarno suffered what we currently believe to have been a steering wheel problem that prevented his car from shifting gears correctly. He only just got out of the pits in time, and then ran wide in Turn 1 when his car remained in top gear."

Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager:

"This weekend, we have to consider ourselves as outsiders rather than direct challengers. However, nothing is out of the question from ninth on the grid; the times are very close, and we will need to see how the race develops and which strategies are being employed. Of course, it will be a difficult challenge, but there is every reason for us to aim for a top five position at the end of the race."

Fernando Alonso
9th, 1:11.185
Jarno Trulli
no time

-renault-

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