The Renault F1 Team began the European Grand Prix weekend in its usual diligent fashion today at the NÃ¼rburgring, with Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella finishing the day in the top ten after completing a programme aimed at tuning the car...
The Renault F1 Team began the European Grand Prix weekend in its usual diligent fashion today at the Nürburgring, with Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella finishing the day in the top ten after completing a programme aimed at tuning the car to the demands of the German circuit.
Conditions were warm and sunny all day, but grip levels out on track were low and both drivers struggled with an inconsistent car balance. However, overnight changes plus further running should see the handling improve along with the circuit conditions, to allow the Renaults to challenge strongly in qualifying tomorrow.
"We had our normal Friday: systems checks in the morning, then some runs to get a feel for the tyres and try and improve the balance. The grip level was very low, as is quite usual for a Friday. That makes the car a bit inconsistent to drive but we will make some changes tonight and, as the circuit grip improves tomorrow, I am sure things will come together. The pace looks quite good but the times are very close, and we need to do more running to get a clearer picture of who our rivals will be."
"The low grip was the main difficulty with the car today, but we still managed to make some good changes on the set-up: some worked, some didn't, but we collected plenty of information to analyse tonight. The consistency was good when I did a longer run this afternoon, so we need to look at how to find first lap performance tomorrow, and to improve the balance of the car to feel completely confident. So far, though, it doesn't look too bad."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"We were rather surprised at the poor grip levels we encountered today, which were lower than expected. In spite of this though, we completed some good tests and collected the data we need to improve the car set-up overnight. The balance was as normal in low grip conditions, that's to say unpredictable, but we are clear on what we need to do to improve the situation tomorrow. The Michelin tyres are working well, but we can see even from the Friday times that there are a number of cars which are very close in performance."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Trackside Engine Operations:
"The Nürburgring is a track we know well in this configuration, but not one at which we test outside the race weekend. As a result, our Friday programme was composed of the usual tuning to adapt the engine to the circuit's demands, putting information we learned last week during testing in Silverstone to good use."
"Fernando is running the B specification evolution engine for the first time this weekend, and it performed without any problems today, just like Fisico's similar unit which is on its second race weekend. Our positions at the end of the day seem encouraging, but we will treat them with our usual caution, given the numerous variables that make it difficult to draw any firm conclusions from the Friday times.
Fernando Alonso: 2nd
16 laps total
Giancarlo Fisichella: 9th
21 laps total