The ING Renault F1 Team was back on track today to begin its preparations for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang. Fernando Alonso, R28-03 Free Practice 1: P6, 1:37.022, 18 laps Free Practice 2: P14, 1:37.328, 23 laps Nelson Piquet, ...
The ING Renault F1 Team was back on track today to begin its preparations for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang.
Fernando Alonso, R28-03
Free Practice 1: P6, 1:37.022, 18 laps
Free Practice 2: P14, 1:37.328, 23 laps
Nelson Piquet, R28-01
Free Practice 1: P7, 1:37.034, 28 laps
Free Practice 2: P15, 1:37.331, 43 laps
Hot and humid conditions remained throughout the day as both drivers completed busy programmes of set-up work and tyre evaluation. Fernando was hampered with gearbox problems in the afternoon, depriving him of second gear, but the team opted not to make a change to continue with its scheduled programme. Nelson enjoyed a trouble-free day, covering a total of 71 laps, as the team concentrated on giving the young Brazilian maximum mileage ahead of his second Grand Prix.
"It was hot today for the first day of work and I had a problem with my gearbox this afternoon which disturbed my programme a bit, but we still managed to continue and finished this first day with some interesting data in view of the qualifying session tomorrow. We will try and analyse that this evening in order to make the most of the last practice session tomorrow. To improve our performance level in qualifying is always our objective and we are working hard on this area."
"I did a lot of laps today and I was able to complete the planned programme which has really made a big difference. The fact that I know the circuit also helps and I have learned a lot and feel comfortable. I hope that things continue like this until Sunday as I was happy with the behaviour of the car. There is still a lot to do, but overall the result of this first day is most encouraging."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering
"Fernando experienced a gearbox problem and he was unable to use second gear, which is quite a penalty around Sepang. In view of the new gearbox regulations, we decided that, even though this was a test gearbox, we would leave it on and continue running to see what happened. Before the end of the session the gearbox failed completely. Nelson had a solid day learning the circuit, and his early performance was very good. However, our emphasis today was to develop both him and the car, and so we chose to use the tyres in a way that would give us optimum learning, as opposed to optimum lap times."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations
"The first session went well for us, even if it was slightly shortened because of a red flag. In the second session Fernando had a problem with the gearbox, but we still managed to continue. Nelson had a busy programme, but we managed to complete it which is encouraging. As usual we should not place too much importance on the hierarchy that we saw today as this is only Friday. In terms of the engine, everything went well and we don't have any particular worries. We have recorded lots of information that we must now make the most of ahead of the qualifying session tomorrow."