The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a difficult qualifying session in Canada on Saturday, as Giancarlo Fisichella and Jenson Button attempted to match their promising practice form. In warm, sunny conditions in Montreal Fisichella ...
The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a difficult qualifying session in Canada on Saturday, as Giancarlo Fisichella and Jenson Button attempted to match their promising practice form.
In warm, sunny conditions in Montreal Fisichella recorded a best time of 1m18.622s to finish 18th fastest, while Button will start tomorrow's Canadian Grand Prix from 20th on the grid, after putting in a quickest lap of 1m19.033s.
Technical director Mike Gascoyne
said the session had essentially gone to plan, adding he was positive for Sunday's race:
"This is more or less what we expected, although a few more tenths would have gained us a number of places. We now have to concentrate on making sure the cars are reliable and getting them to the finish.
"The car certainly looked more competitive with full tanks on Friday, when we were able to get the tyres working more efficiently. I think that we will be in much better shape for the race."
Giancarlo Fisichella admitted he had hoped to be higher up the grid, saying:
"I expected a better result after our performance yesterday, when I was quite happy to be 15th given that we were running with a lot of fuel. Since then, however, the car's grip characteristics have changed and we have picked up a lot of understeer.
"We did the last runs with less downforce in an effort to generate more straight-line speed, but that made life a bit too difficult in the corners."
Jenson Button was similarly frustrated, especially after being caught up in traffic in the final minute of the session following a red-flag incident. However he insisted a top-six race finish was still possible, saying:
"I am not happy at all. We didn't get the best out of qualifying and it didn't help that the second red flag came out when it did. This morning I thought that the balance of the car was good, although we had a touch of understeer.
"We have to make sure that we get to the end tomorrow so that we get some more valuable mileage under our belts. This can be a race of attrition and if you are there at the end there is always a chance of some points."
The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team will be back on track at 08.30 local time on Sunday morning for the warm-up session for the 2001 Canadian grand Prix.