Hungarian GP: Renault Saturday qualifying notes

After promising practices yesterday and this morning, the ING Renault F1 Team had a mixed qualifying session this afternoon for tomorrow's Hungarian Grand Prix on the Budapest Hongaroring. The team was hoping for better things but finally had to...

After promising practices yesterday and this morning, the ING Renault F1 Team had a mixed qualifying session this afternoon for tomorrow's Hungarian Grand Prix on the Budapest Hongaroring. The team was hoping for better things but finally had to come to terms with the fact that only one of its cars made it into the top 10 in qualifying.

Giancarlo Fisichella's practice got off to a difficult start as he was caught up in traffic but the Italian managed to fight his way up into eighth place. His young team-mate, Heikki Kovalainen, looked like he was going to qualify well after being second quickest in Q 1, but did not make into Q 3 and ended the session in twelfth place.

The team will make every effort to find out what happened and get things right between now and tomorrow afternoon. It is still determined to put on a good show in the eleventh round of the 2007 world championship.

Giancarlo Fisichella: 8th

"I was caught up in traffic and that made things really difficult. I lost a lot of time and I just managed to squeeze though into Q 2. Things then improved and I had a good lap setting a competitive time to make it into Q 3. The car handled well throughout the session and I think we've got every reason to be optimistic for tomorrow's race. It won't be easy so we're going to have to have an aggressive strategy."

Heikki Kovalainen: 12th

"It was a very disappointing qualifying session. I still don't really understand what happened. Everything went fine in Q 1 and then we put on the super soft compound for Q2 before going back to hard tyres on which I'd felt more comfortable at the start of the session. It seemed a logical decision. But unfortunately, I couldn't find the same feeling: the car wasn't the same and now we have to work to find out why so we can defend our chances tomorrow."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"Today's qualifying was very difficult. The wind combined with the tyres' characteristics meant that we did not get the best out of the session. Heikki was very quick in Q1 with a time that would have given him sixth place in Q 2. However, the last set of tyres used in Q 2 seemed to provide much less grip and this led to his elimination."

"It was exactly the opposite situation for Giancarlo whose qualifying got off to a difficult start, and then good performances in Q 2 and Q 3 gave him eighth place on the grid with a reasonable fuel load. Tyre management in the race tomorrow will not be easy, and I think we'll see some very different strategic choices."

Denis Chevrier, Head of engine trackside operations:

"Today we've seen just how close the field is with four teams and eight drivers vying for the last four places in Q 3, so it was normal that some drivers did not make it into the final phase of this new style qualifying format. Today, unfortunately, it was Heikki who paid the price despite his good performance in Q 1."

"Now we've got to concentrate on tomorrow's race, especially the start where a good getaway can make a huge difference for the drivers provided we give them enough information. We'll be working hard from now on to prepare for that main straight, and to have a good race despite today's circumstances, as it'll be crucial for tomorrow."

Giancarlo Fisichella: 8th
Chassis: R27-05
Time: 1:21.079

Heikki Kovalainen: 12th
Chassis: R27-03
Time: 1:20.779

-credit: renault

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Heikki Kovalainen