European GP Benetton qualifying notes

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a "mixed" qualifying session at the Nurburgring ahead of the 2001 European Grand Prix. Giancarlo Fisichella set the 15th-fastest time with a lap of 1m17.378s, while his team-mate Jenson Button will...

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a "mixed" qualifying session at the Nurburgring ahead of the 2001 European Grand Prix.

Giancarlo Fisichella set the 15th-fastest time with a lap of 1m17.378s, while his team-mate Jenson Button will line up on the grid in 20th place after setting a lap time of 1m18.626s.

Engineering DirectorPat Symonds described the team's afternoon, saying:
"It has been a very mixed qualifying session for us. I believe Giancarlo's position shows the small and continuous improvements that we have been able to make with the car and these lay the foundation for the bigger steps we hope are on the way.

"With Jenson, however, we never managed to eliminate the understeer that has plagued him all weekend," he continued, "and his qualifying position does not truly reflect where he should be.

"We were pleased to see the track temperature come up a little today, because I think that helped us use our tyres better and we feel confident that our tyre choice will be as good for the race as it was for qualifying."

Giancarlo Fisichella said afterwards that he felt he had pulled together a "decent" grid position for the team.

"I am very happy with the result we achieved today working as a team; driver and engineers. We tried a few different set-ups and I'm pleased with the way things worked out.

"The chassis balance is good, but we could just do with a bit more rear downforce - and the power increase we are expecting soon would have been welcome today. Given how the car is at the moment though, I think we have obtained a decent result."

Jenson Button explained afterwards that understeer had hindered his chances at moving up the timesheets during the session.

"This morning the car didn't feel too bad. There were a few things we had to change - and we thought we had done it - but when qualifying came around we had a bit too much understeer and that stopped me getting a good time.

"The grip level at the track is quite low, but that's the same for every driver. Unfortunately, this has been one of those days when the car got worse rather than better."

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team will next be on track for the Sunday morning warm-up at 0930 local time, ahead of the afternoon's race, which gets underway at 1400.

- Benetton

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button
Teams Benetton