The Renault F1 Team completed a problem-free opening day of practice for the Monaco Grand Prix. On a circuit where grip levels are very low on the first day of running, and where the tiniest error is always extremely costly, both Fernando Alonso...
The Renault F1 Team completed a problem-free opening day of practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.
On a circuit where grip levels are very low on the first day of running, and where the tiniest error is always extremely costly, both Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella dialled themselves into the twisting street circuit quickly.
Today's technical programmes were designed to allow the drivers to find their rhythm on this demanding circuit, to assess the tyre options available, and allowed the engineers to make some initial set-up changes.
The drivers were happy with the balance of the R26 and the consistent performance of the Michelin tyres, while the lap-times were competitive throughout both practice sessions. This leaves the team optimistic of a strong showing for the rest of the weekend.
"Thursday in Monaco is always a day more for the drivers than the engineers, as we run a lot to get used to the circuit again and feel comfortable. I did a lot of laps, worked on my lines in the corners, and I managed to find a good rhythm by the end of the second session. The balance of the R26 was good straight away this morning, and it got better as the grip levels improved. I think we have done the job we needed to today, and we are in good shape.
"We are in a strong position after today. We tried the Michelin tyres in the practice sessions, and made some good preparations for the rest of the weekend. The balance of the car is already very good, and we only need some small changes to get where we want to be. The lap-times were very consistent as well, so I think it looks promising for the rest of the weekend."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"At Monaco, a successful first day is when both cars come back to the pits intact, and there is plenty of data to analyse. We are pleased not only to have achieved that, but also with the fact that the car once again seems to be very competitive, on a circuit that is poles apart from Barcelona.
Denis Chevrier, Head of Trackside Engine Operations:
"We had a good day. This is an unusual circuit, and we adopt an unusual programme to cope with it, running more laps than normal to let the drivers dial themselves in to the circuit. In terms of the engine, we are now at the stage of the season where the first day of running is just for minor tuning, and we did not suffer any unexpected incidents. The B spec RS26 is performing well, and the level of performance we demonstrated today make us hopeful that we will enjoy a successful weekend."
4th, 31 laps total
7th, 35 laps total