The ING Renault F1 Team enjoyed a promising opening day of the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix weekend at Interlagos, in spite of mixed running conditions which saw the first session run in wet weather, and the second on a drying circuit. Giancarlo ...
The ING Renault F1 Team enjoyed a promising opening day of the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix weekend at Interlagos, in spite of mixed running conditions which saw the first session run in wet weather, and the second on a drying circuit. Giancarlo completed only limited running during the wet session in the morning, as the team worked to resolve a potential hydraulic problem on his race chassis. This meant the Italian completed just two installation laps as the team located and resolved the problem.
He then switched to the T-car for the afternoon session, as per the original running plan (NB: the drivers use the T-car for Friday running at alternate race weekends), and set a competitive fifth-fastest time. Heikki finished the morning session in third place, and then worked through a solid programme during the afternoon. In a very competitive field, he finished the day in P12, but was only three tenths off his team-mate's best time.
Overall, the R27 seems to be performing competitively in all conditions, and both drivers were pleased with the handling balance. They will now work to further improve the performance ahead of qualifying tomorrow.
Giancarlo Fisichella: 5th
"I think we are in good shape after our first day of work here. The circuit was improving all the time this afternoon, but we made good progress with the set-up as well, and I think we were quite competitive. They have done a fantastic job with the resurfacing work, and the circuit is much better to drive now. The grip level was a bit low in the wet, but this afternoon it felt very good. Now we need to work hard overnight so we can build from this promising start to the weekend."
Heikki Kovalainen: 12th
"We got a lot done today in spite of the tricky conditions, and the basic balance of the car seems good. I need to find a little more pace from the car but I think we have some good directions for our work this evening, so we can do it. I learned the circuit quickly and I must say that I am really enjoying driving it, it is a fun track with a good mix of corners and gradient. I am looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow."
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer
"With a wet track this morning, and a slowly drying circuit in the afternoon, we had to adapt our running programme to suit the conditions today. The main thing was to get both drivers comfortable with the soft and super-soft tyres we are using this weekend, which we managed to do without any problems."
"Given the wet weather this morning, we decided to use the session to resolve a small problem with Giancarlo's race chassis, to avoid any disruption to our qualifying preparation tomorrow morning. We did so successfully, and he then did a very good job to run so competitively this afternoon. Heikki learned the track quickly, and ran strongly in both wet and dry conditions. The car seems to be performing well here, and we have made a promising start to the weekend."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations:
"As is normal in Interlagos, with such a short lap-time, the field is very closely spaced and the competition in qualifying will be particularly intense. On the engine side, we could not learn much in the wet this morning, and that meant we had a busy afternoon as we tried to complete our normal preparatory work in the space of a single session. The engines performed well, the cars' speeds are competitive, and we had no technical issues at all. More than ever this weekend, it will be important to get every little detail right in our preparation, and we have made a good start on that today."
Chassis: R27-02 in morning, R27-05 T-car in afternoon
Free Practice 1: No time, 2 laps
Free Practice 2: 1:13.549, 22 laps
Free Practice 1: 1:20.829, 19 laps
Free Practice 2: 1:13.879, 28 laps