The ING Renault F1 Team completed a busy and productive opening day of practice for the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring. The priority for the day was to conduct a thorough performance and endurance comparison of the two types of ...
The ING Renault F1 Team completed a busy and productive opening day of practice for the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring. The priority for the day was to conduct a thorough performance and endurance comparison of the two types of Bridgestone Potenza tyre available to the teams this weekend, which are the soft and super-soft compounds from the 2007 range.
However, at the Hungaroring this task is complicated by the fact that the circuit is used very little throughout the year, meaning the surface is very green on the opening day of practice. The poor track conditions saw the team complete less running than planned in the morning session as the drivers waited for conditions to improve, while the afternoon saw cloud cover build and some light rain fall after approximately an hour.
However, no more rain is currently forecast for the rest of the weekend. In spite of these disruptions, the drivers successfully completed their tyre comparisons, and managed to find a good base-line race set-up for the R27. They completed a total of 112 laps during the day, and will now look to improve the set-up overnight ahead of tomorrow's final practice session which, as normal, will be dedicated to fine-tuning qualifying performance.
"We ran a slightly unusual programme today, and it seemed to work well for us. I felt confident and comfortable in the car straight away, and the balance was quite neutral through both sessions. I got good quick laps on both types of tyre, and we understand the differences in their behaviour. I think that compared to recent races, this was a much better start to the weekend, and we are on the right track with the set-up. Now we need to improve the car a little bit overnight, and stay focused on producing a good performance on Sunday.
"The day got off to quite a difficult start for me, and we had to change quite a lot on the set-up to get a good balance. I still wasn't happy with the car during the short runs at the start of second practice, so I couldn't get the maximum from the tyres, but we made some more changes after that and it really improved the handling. There is work to do overnight, but we have moved in the right direction today, and hopefully that will continue tomorrow morning."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"The times on Friday are not always a reliable indication of teams' true pace, and they must always be treated with some caution as teams often run quite different programmes. On a circuit such as this, that is probably even more true. We focused on completing our programme today and started to get a handle on the tyres."
"As always, the track was very low in grip when we started running, and the constantly-improving track conditions further complicated our attempts to find a good handling balance. It was important to avoid chasing the track evolution with our set-up changes, and I think we made good progress on the basic performance of the car in spite of this.
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations:
"We enjoyed a trouble-free day of running as we worked to adapt the RS27 engine to this circuit. As usual on a Friday, we completed more laps in the afternoon than the morning, and the focus was primarily on understanding the tyres and chassis performance over short and long runs."
"The Hungaroring is not intrinsically demanding for the V8, but the temperatures mean it is critical to get the right cooling compromise. We are searching for every last bit of downforce at this twisty circuit, and being too conservative with our cooling can cost aerodynamic performance. So far, the weekend has been incident-free, and we have found good settings for the engines which can now be transferred to the race engines tomorrow.
Chassis: R27-02, T-car
Free Practice 1: P17, 1:24.920, 19 laps
Free Practice 2: P8, 1:21.698, 36 laps
Free Practice 1: P15, 1:24.733, 18 laps
Free Practice 2: P2, 1:21.283, 39 laps