French GP: Renault Friday practice notes

The Renault F1 Team began the French Grand Prix weekend in optimistic mood and diligent fashion today at Magny-Cours. As usual, both drivers completed a tightly focused programme of tyre evaluation aimed at assessing the relative performances of...

The Renault F1 Team began the French Grand Prix weekend in optimistic mood and diligent fashion today at Magny-Cours.

As usual, both drivers completed a tightly focused programme of tyre evaluation aimed at assessing the relative performances of the two types of Michelin tyres selected for this weekend. Track temperatures at the rose to over 50°C this afternoon, comparable to the conditions predicted for Sunday's Grand Prix, and on a circuit that is demanding both in terms of traction and also high speed handling in turn three, tyre performance will be a critical factor in the race.

Both Fernando and Giancarlo are running the new C-spec RS26 V8 engine this weekend, an evolution whose full potential was successfully approved during testing last week in Jerez. It completed two incident-free sessions today as the engineers conducted their usual fine-tuning of the mapping.

Fernando Alonso:

"It was a normal Friday for me here today, working on the tyre programme and making a few small set-up changes. I think we have a good picture of the directions we need to take tomorrow, both in terms of the Michelin tyres and the car set-up. The new C-spec engine feels like a good step and has performed without any problems so far, which is encouraging."

"Magny-Cours is a circuit I always enjoy, because the two high-speed chicanes that give it something unique for the drivers, and even today we could see plenty of our fans and colleagues from Renault in the grandstands. There will be even more tomorrow and Sunday, and I hope our performance will live up to their expectations. So far, so good!

Giancarlo Fisichella:

"This was another good start to the race weekend for me, which is encouraging after my strong performance in Indianapolis. I started out the session with a bit too much oversteer so we had to make some changes to the car, but we calmed it down and it began to feel easy to drive and consistent. We still have some room for improvement tomorrow, but I am happy with the situation so far and I think we have got some good ideas for what we need to do in the race. This was a promising start for me.

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"From the engineers' point of view, this was a normal day of Friday practice spent evaluating tyre compounds and tuning the handling of the cars. After some work during the second session, the R26 now seems to have a reasonably consistent balance for both drivers, and the times certainly seem competitive. We ran both types of Michelin tyre today, and the first impressions are that we are back on track after the anomaly of our performance in Indianapolis."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Trackside Engine Operations:

"With weather conditions similar to those predicted for Sunday's race, this afternoon's practice session proved an ideal opportunity to begin tuning engine mapping, adjusting cooling levels and conducting our usual test work. We completed both programmes without incident, and have collected plenty of data for analysis this evening."

"The C-spec engine evolution is performing as predicted, making this a positive day from the technical perspective. A quick analysis of the timesheets also suggests we are in a strong position from a competitive point of view, so we can say it has been a good start to our home Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso: 2nd
14 laps total
Time: 1:17.498

Giancarlo Fisichella: 5th
13 laps total
Time: 1:17.916

-renault-

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