The Renault F1 Team experienced a fragmented beginning to the race weekend in Hockenheim, with both drivers breaking tradition by running timed laps in the opening session of the day -- and then restricting their mileage during the second hour,...
The Renault F1 Team experienced a fragmented beginning to the race weekend in Hockenheim, with both drivers breaking tradition by running timed laps in the opening session of the day -- and then restricting their mileage during the second hour, when rain showers disrupted the session.
In spite of this, they were able to make a solid start to their technical programmes, evaluating baseline set-ups and getting a first feel for tyre performance on a circuit which is particularly demanding for the rear tyres. Although they were unusually far down the timesheets, both Fernando and Giancarlo were satisfied with their start to the weekend, and confident for tomorrow.
"This was one of those days when it is hard to work out how our pace compares to that of our rivals: we look quite far down the times, but that is not the real situation I don't think. I had traffic on my quick laps, but the car balance feels stable and we have a first idea of how the tyres are performing. We did things a bit differently today because of the rain but we got the usual results from our programme, so everything is looking normal for tomorrow."
"This is quite a short lap, and there seemed to be a lot of traffic out there today. My timed laps were all compromised a little bit by this, and the conditions were difficult as well with a slippery, low-grip track surface. The most important thing, though, was to recognise that the conditions today were quite different to what we expect for the rest of the weekend. So my main goal was to get used to the circuit, and not become confused with set-up. The R26 is handling normally, and the situation looks OK at the moment."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"The conditions were difficult for the drivers today. Even once the midday rain had disappeared, the track was left in an unusual condition and we didn't seem to find a clear bit of it for the drivers at any point. However, both Giancarlo and Fernando reported that the car is handling normally, and we have got a first idea of how the Michelin tyres are performing. We will continue our work tomorrow."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Trackside Engine Operations:
"Although the rain during the early afternoon meant we had to slightly modify the tyre and chassis programmes, it changed very little from the engine side. As always, the two Friday sessions were spent collecting data and confirming our initial engine settings. We collected useful information and the evening will be spent analysing it, and adjusting the mapping, gear ratios and other parameters to suit. The RS26 has continued to perform without incident, and we look forward to continuing the weekend in the same fashion."
Giancarlo Fisichella: 11th
16 laps total
Fernando Alonso: 15th
13 laps total