Alonso thirteenth and Villeneuve fifteenth following a busy opening day at the Shanghai cirucit. The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team had a productive opening day at the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix. Both drivers completed a large number of laps...
Alonso thirteenth and Villeneuve fifteenth following a busy opening day at the Shanghai cirucit.
The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team had a productive opening day at the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix. Both drivers completed a large number of laps during the day, as they learned the circuit and evaluated the two different tyre types available. Both drivers worked well, and registered consistent, well-matched lap-times. The team will work from this solid start to fine-tune set-ups and gear ratios this evening before the final two practice sessions tomorrow morning.
"It was a tricky day today. I was still trying different lines at the end of the session and I can still find time all the way around the lap. The tyre choice will be quite hard as well, because the circuit was changing all the time and it was difficult to get a clear idea of which type was the best, but we did a lot of laps and collected plenty of data, which should allow us to make the right choice this evening. I expect tomorrow to be a more normal day."
"Looking at the circuit, it is a difficult layout and the surface was very slippery today, but it is clear that we cannot afford to make any mistakes. The thing that really makes this track different to the others is the long corners at the start of the lap and before the main straight: you don't find this kind of corner at any other track. I think it will be a tough circuit to get right."
"Today was all about getting to the limit for me: the circuit is new for me, like all the other drivers, but I am still learning about the R24 as well. Everything was going pretty well by the end of the day and I was setting consistent times, but I still need to work out how to get the best out of a new set of tyres for a single flying lap. That is one of the areas I need to concentrate on before qualifying tomorrow."
"I think that the circuit itself is gorgeous! It includes a bit of everything, with quick corners and slow corners, and it is challenging for the drivers. It is not easy, but you can find a good rhythm, it really flows well."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager:
"Today was all about learning the circuit, so we ran a busy programme: both drivers did a lot of laps, much like our competitors, and particularly during the second session when the track conditions were becoming more representative."
"On the engine side, we didn't have any problems at all: we worked on the basis of our usual simulations, and we completed a structured day that allowed us to evaluate our performance in all areas. We need to make some small changes this evening to the gear ratios and electronics, but overall we completed a typical opening day to our race weekend."
Practice session 1: 8th, 1:36.884, 15 laps
Practice session 2: 13th, 1:35.514, 27 laps
Practice session 1: 14th, 1:37.240, 20 laps
Practice session 2: 15th, 1:35.851, 25 laps