The official grid for the first Grand Prix of the season is set. The twenty drivers got used to the brand new format, with a single timed lap in race set-up. Best time fell to Michael Schumacher's Ferrari, with team-mate Rubens Barrichello ...
The official grid for the first Grand Prix of the season is set. The twenty drivers got used to the brand new format, with a single timed lap in race set-up. Best time fell to Michael Schumacher's Ferrari, with team-mate Rubens Barrichello second.
The day was a busy one for the Renault F1 Team. "I fine-tuned my set-up little by little through the first session," explained Jarno after free practice this morning. "I got a very good balance on the car, which meant I was able to set fastest time. In race trim, the car is handling well and easy to drive. It feels very good through the first sector, but a little less in the second." At the end of the morning, Fernando was also optimistic. "I'm very pleased with how the car is handling," he explained. "We worked hard on race set-up during the second session, as the new regulations mean you have to. The engines will be changed before qualifying." (Click here for Free Practice times).
Qualifying, however, didn't go quite as the Team had planned. The two Renault F1 Team drivers pushed a bit too hard during their timed lap. The result? Tenth for Fernando, and tweflth for Jarno (click here for qualifying times).
"We did our best," said Fernando, "but we can't be sure how much fuel our rivals are running. We're happy with our race preparation -- it should be an exciting afternoon tomorrow." On Jarno's side, the tone was a little disappointed. "It was a strange qualifying session," he admitted. "The car was well balanced this morning, yet had big understeer this afternoon, and I'm not sure why. I expected to do better, but we are still in good shape for the race. Tomorrow should go well for us."
The Team cannot now work on the cars, which are stored under parc fermé conditions, before tomorrow's race.