Brazilian GP: Renault Saturday qualifying notes

Fernando on pole and Fisico third in Brazil, equalling the team's best qualifying result of the season. The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team scored a strong one-three finish in qualifying for this afternoon's Brazilian Grand Prix. Giancarlo Fisichella...

Fernando on pole and Fisico third in Brazil, equalling the team's best qualifying result of the season.

The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team scored a strong one-three finish in qualifying for this afternoon's Brazilian Grand Prix. Giancarlo Fisichella ran first in the session, when track conditions were at their poorest; however, a flawless lap saw him take third on the grid, largely negating the disadvantage of having to run early in the session.

Fernando Alonso this afternoon claimed his fourth pole of the 2005 season, and the fifth for the Renault F1 Team. This equalled the team's best qualifying result of the season, in Malaysia.

Fernando Alonso:

"So far so good, I think. But this is only the starting point, we know tomorrow is a long race with 71 laps, so I will try and finish the job. The team has done a fantastic job in the past few weeks to carry on developing the car and engine, and this is the result: it is working well, and Fisi and I are on the front two rows."

"At the last few races we were not able to fight with McLaren, but here I think we have a better chance. Looking ahead, we are aiming to get on the podium at every one of the last races -- not just here. But if we can do it tomorrow, then it will be very good for the championship!"

Giancarlo Fisichella:

"Honestly, I didn't expect to be here: the circuit conditions were not so good at the start of the session, and the grip levels were definitely a bit low. Here in Interlagos, this really hurts you in the second sector, and that's where I lost some time to the others."

"Our target for the last races has been to be in the top three, and to carry on scoring lots of points. I am optimistic for tomorrow, because we have a good pace on the long runs, so I think Fernando and I can get a strong result for both championships.

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"Both drivers did a fabulous job this afternoon. It is always hard to assess the penalty associated with running first in qualifying, when track conditions are not at their best, but Giancarlo judged his lap perfectly: he took the right risks and set an excellent time."

"It is great for Fernando to take pole, and it puts him in the driving seat for tomorrow afternoon. The other source of satisfaction is our pace on the long runs, which looked very good on Friday. I have no doubt we can have a very good race tomorrow."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations:

"We could see from our running so far this weekend that things would be very close in qualifying -- as indeed they always are at a circuit where the overall lap time is among the shortest of the year. The battle between Renault and McLaren is tight, and the tiniest of mistakes carries a heavy penalty in this sort of situation."

"This afternoon, our drivers performed perfectly: Fisico put in a remarkable lap to take third position, and Fernando's performance was equally strong. I think we are in for a very exciting race tomorrow afternoon, as neither team has any obvious weaknesses. We are confident that we have the potential to perform very well indeed."

Fernando Alonso
1st, 1:11.988
Giancarlo Fisichella
3rd, 1:12.588

-renault-

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