The ING Renault F1 Team today completed a solid first day of practice at a cool and windy Silverstone, ahead of Sunday's 2007 British Grand Prix. Throughout the field, drivers had to contend with a gusting wind of up to 40 kph around the ...
The ING Renault F1 Team today completed a solid first day of practice at a cool and windy Silverstone, ahead of Sunday's 2007 British Grand Prix.
Throughout the field, drivers had to contend with a gusting wind of up to 40 kph around the challenging, high-speed circuit, which led to a large number of cars running off track at different points of the day. However, Renault drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen were both able to complete substantial technical programmes comprised of set-up changes, and comparisons between the Bridgestone Potenza tyre compounds selected for this race.
Both drivers made good steps forward with the car set-up throughout the day and, as usual, the team expects an increase in relative competitiveness during the third practice session, when teams usually begin running more comparable programmes and fuel loads ahead of qualifying tomorrow afternoon.
"This was a better start to my weekend than I had in Magny-Cours. The basic car balance felt pretty good today, but the wind always makes life difficult, because the gusts mean every car feels inconsistent from lap to lap, and corner to corner even. There is still work for us to do overnight to find more performance, but already from this morning to this afternoon, it felt like we made a good step forward -- even through the positions don't necessarily suggest so. We are definitely working in the right direction, so if we can do the same again before tomorrow, we should be in pretty good shape.
"The car was quite competitive, and particularly on the long runs when the balance felt pretty good. But I encountered quite a lot of traffic, the circuit is pretty bumpy, and you have head or tailwinds changing all the time which makes it hard to find the right braking points, so there's quite a lot of work to do, in order to understand our basic potential I think. But if we look at our programme, we can be happy with the number of laps we did, and the progress we made. After that, we need to make the most of the conditions, because they will be the same for everybody, and keep on moving forward with the set-up of the car."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"It was extremely difficult to accomplish much today, with the wind gusting in the way it was. I don't think I have ever seen so many cars running wide at turn 1, which was surely caused by the tailwinds down the pit straight. Nevertheless, we were able to confirm some of the results from our test here two weeks ago, especially with regard to the tyres. We felt confident after that Silverstone test, and the confidence remains this evening."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations:
"In spite of having tested here recently, we completed a large number of laps today, trying to get on top of the windy conditions, which are always a tricky challenge when it comes to finding a good balance. The temperatures are also below average, and so as usual when we encounter slightly unusual conditions, we had to tune the engine for maximum performance in this context."
"Silverstone is a circuit where the fuel effect is particularly high, so as always, one should be wary of drawing too many hasty conclusions from the timesheets -- although it is clear that McLaren and Ferrari are still well ahead of the field, and evenly matched as they were last week in Magny-Cours. Our focus today at Renault was on getting our work done and preparing thoroughly for the race. We undoubtedly achieved that, and are now in a strong position to chase some more performance during tomorrow's final practice session.
Chassis: R27-02, T-car
Practice 1: 14th, 1:23.179, 21 laps
Practice 2: 12th, 1:22.257, 39 laps
Practice 1: 13th, 1:23.099, 25 laps
Practice 2: 11th, 1:22.189, 42 laps