The Renault F1 Team began running today in Jerez, continuing the winter test programme with the R26. The Renault F1 Team took the track for the first of three days of testing, with Fernando Alonso and Heikki Kovalainen at the wheel. Fernando...
The Renault F1 Team began running today in Jerez, continuing the winter test programme with the R26.
The Renault F1 Team took the track for the first of three days of testing, with Fernando Alonso and Heikki Kovalainen at the wheel.
Fernando ran strongly, concentrating primarily on tyre development and set-up work with the R26 in order to learn more about its handling characteristics.
Heikki Kovalainen successfully completed a 77 lap race distance this morning, but was then forced to stop running following a problem with the rear wing. The team chose not to take any risks in the interests of driver safety, and the part in question was sent back to Enstone immediately for analysis and to enable modifications to be made as quickly as possible.
The team is working hard to get modified components to Jerez for the end of the week, but quality remains paramount; should they not be available in time, they will be used next week in Valencia.
While waiting for new components to arrive, the team will run with a single chassis tomorrow, with Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen sharing seat-time in the R26.
"We had an interesting day of testing. We concentrated on the tyres again, which are going to be a very important factor this year, and worked on chassis set-up. The gains we made were good in terms of improving the grip and balance of the car."
"Now, we need to carry on working and see how things go -- it is hard to say more than that at this stage, but the main thing is that we concentrate on our programme."
"I managed to do another race distance today, which was good. The car handled well and I felt comfortable at the wheel again. We then had the problem with the wing that meant I had to stop running, but the main thing is that we will still be able to carry on running tomorrow."
Christian Silk, Chief Test Engineer:
"We managed to get through a large part of our testing programme today. Heikki completed another race distance, while Fernando worked on software this morning as he waited for track conditions to improve."
"He then focused on tyre development and chassis set-up, and we found some interesting ideas to explore further. Overall, it was a positive day in spite of the problem with the rear wing this afternoon."