French GP: Renault Friday practice notes

The ING Renault F1 Team today completed two busy practice sessions for this weekend's French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours. Both drivers worked through their technical programmes, evaluating and comparing the two types of Bridgestone Potenza tyres and...

The ING Renault F1 Team today completed two busy practice sessions for this weekend's French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours. Both drivers worked through their technical programmes, evaluating and comparing the two types of Bridgestone Potenza tyres and making set-up adjustments to improve the handling balance of the R27.

Although the final timesheets saw the Renault drivers in the second half of the field, good progress was made on each car, which will be consolidated overnight and tomorrow morning. Furthermore, both drivers completed over 60 trouble-free laps. The basic handling of the R27 was consistent and predictable, in spite of conditions that saw many drivers spin or run off track.

As always at Magny-Cours, where the short lap takes under eighty seconds to complete, the times were extremely close -- with just one second covering third to seventeenth positions at the end of the second practice session. Only tomorrow, when all teams begin their qualifying preparations, will the true picture of competitiveness become clear.

Giancarlo Fisichella:

"I had a pretty good day. We did lots of laps and completed the programme, which is always the first objective. The changes we made to the set-up were good, and I felt really comfortable out on track. The times and handling balance were quite consistent on the long runs, which is an important factor for the race, and I don't think the position will look too bad once we have completed our analysis. There's still more progress to come from our work overnight, but I think we have a good starting point to work from.

Heikki Kovalainen:

"The car balance isn't quite where I want it to be at the moment, and that was costing me time today -- especially as I also had some traffic on my last timed laps on new tyres. But that is something we can tune overnight, to be honest. The important thing was to do the programme, make some good set-up changes, and give ourselves a platform for tomorrow. I think we managed that successfully, and we know the direction we need to go overnight. There is still work to be done, and some time to be found in the car, but I think we will look better tomorrow, than the timesheets suggest right now."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"Magny-Cours is a circuit that changes a lot according to the prevailing conditions, and the resurfacing that has been conducted for this year made it all the more important to do a proper tyre comparison and evaluation today. This was completed successfully by both drivers, but the handling balance when they both ran a new set of tyres at the end of the session was not as good as we would have liked. However, this is not a fundamental problem, and I am sure some overnight tuning will cure it."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations:

"As always on a circuit which we know well, our Friday running was spent checking and tuning the engine characteristics for this circuit. We did so without any problems, which is always reassuring, and both engines were performing well. The timesheets don't look particularly impressive, but we know that Friday is never a day for drawing conclusions about the car's performance."

"The times are very close, and the tiniest variations in fuel load can make a big difference when one second covers fourteen cars. So our focus was on completing our work, getting good answers from our tests, and we did so successfully. Assessing our relative performance will begin tomorrow morning, when we and our rival begin preparing for qualifying.

Giancarlo Fisichella
Chassis: R27-02, T-car
Free Practice 1: 18th, 1:17.226, 20 laps
Free Practice 2: 11th, 1:16.205, 43 laps

Heikki Kovalainen
Chassis: R27-03
Free Practice 1: 19th, 1:17.348, 21 laps
Free Practice 2: 17th, 1:16.735, 40 laps

-credit: renault

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Heikki Kovalainen
Teams Renault F1 Team