Chinese GP: Renault Saturday qualifying notes

An all-Renault front row with Fernando ahead of Giancarlo this afternoon in Shanghai. The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team scored its strongest qualifying result of the year this afternoon ahead of the season-ending Chinese Grand Prix, with an ...

An all-Renault front row with Fernando ahead of Giancarlo this afternoon in Shanghai.

The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team scored its strongest qualifying result of the year this afternoon ahead of the season-ending Chinese Grand Prix, with an all-Renault front row at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Fernando Alonso took his sixth pole position of the year, and the seventh for the team, with a clean, fast lap, while Giancarlo Fisichella will line up alongside his team-mate after an equally strong performance. Both drivers were happier with the balance of their car today, and able to attack with confidence on their qualifying laps.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, the team is now in the strongest possible position to put pressure on McLaren and take the fight to them in the battle to secure the constructors' title. The Renault F1 Team is also proud to have scored Michelin's 100th F1 pole position this afternoon.

Fernando Alonso:

"It was a perfect lap, and I have been surprised at how good the car has been this weekend. The circuit has improved a lot, and we have made a lot of changes as well to improve the handling. We have been conservative in our developments for a lot of the season, but for these final races, we have been able to be aggressive and it is paying off. I am in a perfect position to fight for the win tomorrow."

Giancarlo Fisichella:

"I am really pleased to be second, because I was struggling with the car this weekend and didn't expect to be on the front row. We did some changes at the last minute that really improved things, and I was quite pleased with the lap -- maybe I was a bit conservative in the first sector, but I felt very confident after that. The new engine has performed really well, and we are on a good strategy for tomorrow."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"After a season as successful as ours has been in 2005, this is a great way to finish the final qualifying session of the year, annexing the front row with Fernando and Giancarlo. Both drivers made progress with the balance of the car this morning, and were much happier by the time qualifying began."

"As always, though, we must think of qualifying not as a separate challenge in terms of our strategy, but as the first lap of the race. We will have to see how the strategies pan out tomorrow, but before this weekend, we promised to take the fight to McLaren and keep the pressure on them. Without a doubt, that is what we are doing.

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations:

"Qualifying is only the beginning of the story when it comes to getting a good result, but it is still a special moment to secure an all-Renault front row, something we have not achieved this season, and only once since Renault returned to F1 in 2002. I think our performance in Japan demonstrated we have made progress relative to the competition, and this qualifying session confirmed it again."

"We have worked well throughout practice to prepare for the race in our normal way, and the E spec of the RS25 has run without any problems at all. The numbers show we are competitive in terms of our straightline speed, and also lap-time. The fight against McLaren tomorrow will be tough, but we have taken advantage in the best possible way of Montoya's early running slot, and we are ready for a tough battle tomorrow."

Flavio Briatore, Managing Director:

"We are delighted to have scored Michelin's 100th pole, appropriately with Fernando, the first Michelin world champion since their return to Formula 1.We now hope we can bring them another win tomorrow to crown a fantastic 2005 season for Michelin and Renault."

Fernando Alonso
1st, 1:34.080
Giancarlo Fisichella
2nd, 1:34.401

-renault-

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