Italian GP: Renault Saturday qualifying notes

Fernando fourth and Jarno ninth in qualifying for tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix. The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team achieved promising positions this afternoon during qualifying for tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix. As expected, the times were...

Fernando fourth and Jarno ninth in qualifying for tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix.

The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team achieved promising positions this afternoon during qualifying for tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix. As expected, the times were extremely close and behind pole-sitter Rubens Barrichello, just half a second covers the next nine cars on the grid. Fernando Alonso put his Renault R24 fourth on the grid, while Jarno Trulli will start from ninth having chosen a more conservative race strategy.

Fernando Alonso:

"I am quite surprised to be fourth on the grid. We knew things would be very tight, and I managed to take advantage of that to get a place on the second row. The timed lap was quite difficult because the car was understeering in the first part of the lap, at the second chicane and the Lesmos, but then handling really well in the fast corners in the final sector. Overall, though, the balance of the car was good and I am pretty confident tomorrow. I think we can run an aggressive race and fight for a podium position as we had hoped."

Jarno Trulli:

"I am really pleased with my qualifying performance. I pushed to the limit and managed to put in a good lap. I still do not feel completely comfortable with the car, and it was nervous and difficult to drive on the lap, so I took a lot of risks and they paid off. The car is quite competitive here and from what we have seen so far, we should be consistent on the longer runs. I will definitely be aiming for a good points finish tomorrow."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"At a circuit like Monza where overtaking is nearly impossible, it is important to be well positioned at the front of the field, and Fernando put in a strong performance to achieve exactly that. Unfortunately, Jarno was still not comfortable with the car balance after practice this morning, so we chose to go a more conservative route with his strategy, which explains the difference in the drivers' positions."

"We had predicted that the field would be very tight and the top ten are covered by just a second. Given how close everybody is, we were surprised to see Barrichello on pole by six tenths of a second, but we will have to wait for the race to understand what is going on."

Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager:

"This was a pleasing qualifying result for the team. Fernando gave himself a solid starting point for the race, although Jarno seems to be less well-placed at the moment. On the engine side, we have experienced no problems at all and the weekend has run to plan."

"Looking ahead to tomorrow, there is still a question mark over the weather and, of course, our competitors' race strategies. If, as usual, the fuel loads only vary by several laps, then we will certainly have a good idea of exactly how quick everybody is after the first fifteen laps tomorrow."

Fernando Alonso
Chassis: R24-02
1:20.645, 4th

Jarno Trulli
Chassis: R24-01
1:21.027, 9th

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Fernando Alonso
Teams Renault F1 Team