The Renault F1 Team endured a challenging afternoon during today's qualifying session for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. In ever-improving track conditions, and with temperatures steadily rising through the afternoon, both Renault drivers...
The Renault F1 Team endured a challenging afternoon during today's qualifying session for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.
In ever-improving track conditions, and with temperatures steadily rising through the afternoon, both Renault drivers struggled for performance over a single lap during the qualifying session. Giancarlo Fisichella will start tomorrow's race from fifth position, while Fernando Alonso had hoped for more than P7 on his 25th birthday.
However, in spite of the disappointing positions, both drivers reported the car to be well-balanced and easy to drive, which gives them confidence that they will be able to climb through the field during tomorrow's race.
Giancarlo Fisichella, 5th position:
"I think we did the maximum we could today with the engineers and on the track. Unfortunately though, some other cars were quicker this afternoon. There are some big gaps to the cars in front, so maybe we can expect some variation in strategy, but we will have to race hard whatever happens. It will be important to make a good start and then keep the pace. I am confident we will be quick on the long runs, so hopefully everything will come together in the race."
Fernando Alonso, 7th position:
"Today, I don't think we ever got our tyres working properly on the timed lap and even before the session, we knew it might be a little bit difficult for us this afternoon. Obviously, starting from seventh position makes our job quite a hard one, but I am still confident for tomorrow. I think we have competitive pace on the long runs, and now we need to believe in the choices we have made for set-up and strategy, and let the race unfold. Hopefully, we can make it to the podium tomorrow."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"Fifth and seventh are certainly not the grid positions we had hoped for this afternoon, which is surprising as the balance of the car did not seem too bad for either driver. Rather, it was a question of grip today. Our tyres have started working better as the temperatures have risen this weekend, and a continuation of that trend tomorrow will certainly help our chances in the race."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Trackside Engine Operations:
"It is clear from this afternoon's qualifying session that we are not in our usual strong position in terms of our overall competitiveness. Although the run to the first corner is short at this circuit, making it hard to gain ground, we usually see plenty of action on the first lap -- and both of our drivers will have to race aggressively to make up positions."
"In terms of engine performance, this is a demanding circuit and we expect the temperatures tomorrow to be high. However, neither unit has yet missed a beat this weekend, and we intend to maintain our strong reliability record. We must now be confident that our car will be able to run at a quick, consistent race pace and wait and see how the race unfolds as the cars make their first pit-stops tomorrow."