Malaysian GP: Renault Saturday qualifying notes

First (Fernando Alonso) and third (Giancarlo Fisichella) for the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team in the first qualifying session for the Malaysian Grand Prix. A promising result ahead of second qualifying and the race tomorrow. Fernando...

First (Fernando Alonso) and third (Giancarlo Fisichella) for the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team in the first qualifying session for the Malaysian Grand Prix. A promising result ahead of second qualifying and the race tomorrow.

Fernando Alonso:

"The car was quite difficult to drive yesterday, but the engineers did a really good job last night; this morning, the car was quick and easy to drive again. There was more grip than I had been expecting for my timed lap, and the car was well balanced, although I lost some time on the exit of Turn 6. It's good to have a small gap ahead of tomorrow's qualifying session, which I think will be a difficult challenge. But I am optimistic for the race."

Giancarlo Fisichella:

"I am pleased to finish third this afternoon: the car was understeering a bit on the timed lap, and I made some small mistakes, but I think that I can still fight for the podium tomorrow, and maybe the win. We learned yesterday that the R25 has the potential to be competitive on high fuel loads, and I hope we can confirm this result tomorrow morning, in order to fight strongly in the race."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"It was a satisfying day: Fernando's lap for provisional pole seemed very clean, and he thinks he could have got more out of the car. Giancarlo lost time this morning when he spun, but recovered well in qualifying. The cars are much better balanced than yesterday after hard work from the drivers and their engineers last night."

"Michelin has supplied tyres with an impressive level of grip on the first lap, and even more impressive consistency on the long runs in extreme conditions. We are happy with our potential on higher fuel loads tomorrow but in my opinion, the key to tomorrow's race will be to correctly manage rear tyre wear over the full distance."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations:

"The results of first qualifying give us real reason for satisfaction. This was the first 'real' qualifying session of the season, to be held in equal conditions, and it is reassuring to see the cars are performing well, after our strong performance in race conditions in Melbourne."

"On the engine side, we have suffered no problems, and the good top speeds show we have found a good aero-engine balance. However, the very small gaps in today's session mean that this result is far from definitive: I think we may see the order change tomorrow morning, before we get a more representative idea of everybody's competitiveness in the race itself."

Fernando Alonso
1st, 1:32.582
Giancarlo Fisichella
3rd, 1:32.765

-renault-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Fernando Alonso
Teams Renault F1 Team