British GP: Renault Saturday qualifying notes

Fernando on pole and Fisico seventh - but sixth on the grid after Raikkonen suffers ten place penalty. Fernando Alonso took his fourth pole position of the year this afternoon in qualifying for the British Grand Prix. Running last in the ...

Fernando on pole and Fisico seventh - but sixth on the grid after Raikkonen suffers ten place penalty.

Fernando Alonso took his fourth pole position of the year this afternoon in qualifying for the British Grand Prix. Running last in the hour-long session after his victory in France, the Spaniard put together a mistake-free, aggressive lap to claim top spot by several hundredths of a second from championship rival Kimi Raikkonen.

Team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella qualified seventh fastest, his lap compromised by poor grip levels and some small errors. Nevertheless, the Italian will start from the third row tomorrow after benefiting from the ten position penalty Raikkonen will serve following an engine change this morning.

Fernando Alonso:

"It was a good lap today, and there was a really nice balance on the car. It is quite unexpected for me to be on the pole, to be honest, but the team did a great job overnight to improve the car, and it felt quick straight away this morning. That meant I went into qualifying with a good level of confidence, and I could really attack on the timed lap."

"Looking to tomorrow, I think we will see more similar strategies than in Magny-Cours, which will make it hard for people behind to make up positions, but it is still a long race here and anything can happen. It is hard for Kimi to suffer another penalty, but from our side, it doesn't change anything in the approach: we have done our maximum so far this weekend and got pole; we will do exactly the same tomorrow."

Giancarlo Fisichella:

"I didn't have a perfect lap this afternoon. We worked on the car last night to improve the balance, and it was better today with less understeer, but the grip levels were still quite poor on my lap. I also made some small mistakes, which meant the lap was not as good as it could have been. But given my strategy I think I am still in a good position, and the R25 should be competitive tomorrow afternoon."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"We saw another fantastic qualifying effort from Fernando this afternoon to claim his fourth pole position of the season. We should not forget though that Giancarlo put in a good effort considering the strategy he is running. Of course, we have benefited from Kimi's bad luck this morning but I am sure that like in Magny-Cours, we will soon see him in the hunt at the front of the field in race conditions."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations:

"Our running this morning suggested to us that our level of performance was competitive with our rivals, and that has apparently been confirmed this afternoon -- although we have the usual unknown of the fuel loads different cars are running, that still has to be played out. However, we have gone about our race preparations in our normal, serious fashion and it is fantastic to see one car starting from the best possible position, and the other very much in the hunt for the podium."

"Of course, the weather remains an unknown factor, as the temperatures have stayed stubbornly low all weekend, but we expect tomorrow to be much hotter, which will certainly present the teams with some performance and reliability challenges. Overall, though, it has been a good afternoon -- and it is pleasing to take a first pole position with our new C specification engine."

Fernando Alonso
1st, 1:19.905
Giancarlo Fisichella
7th, 1:21.010

-renault-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso