The Renault F1 Team's weekend in San Marino began with two routine practice sessions today in Imola. The morning session saw the team's two drivers completely only installation laps, before beginning their programmes this afternoon with several...
The Renault F1 Team's weekend in San Marino began with two routine practice sessions today in Imola.
The morning session saw the team's two drivers completely only installation laps, before beginning their programmes this afternoon with several set-up changes to achieve a stable balance on the R26. Their work was hampered by poor circuit conditions and very low grip levels; as a result, neither driver was satisfied with the handling by the end of the session.
In spite of this, the cars were encouragingly quick, and overnight set-up changes combined with additional running tomorrow morning, should see both Renaults in a strong position for the afternoon's qualifying session.
"As usual on the Friday, the grip levels were quite bad. That makes the car inconsistent to drive, and we began working on the set-up to try and improve things. We are not there yet, and we are suffering from too much understeer at the moment. I think we are quick as well but as always, the times on Friday don't mean too much. If we can make some good changes tonight, though, I think we will be a in a strong situation for the race."
"I had a difficult day to be honest. The balance of the car is not good and the grip is very low on the track. The main problem is in the chicanes where the handling is inconsistent, which means you cannot attack them with any confidence. We have a lot of work to do tonight, to reach our normal level of performance."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"In very low grip conditions such as we experienced today, it is perfectly understandable that neither driver is particularly happy with the balance of the car at the moment. We made some limited changes to the set-up in the second session and we seem to be going in the right direction, so we will continue to study the data overnight to solve the problems. All things considered, our relative competitiveness seems to be where we would expect."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Trackside Engine Operations:
"We had another normal day of Friday practice today. For the engine team, that means calibrating the engine mapping and control systems, which we did without incident. The weather conditions were perfect, contrary to some forecasts, and we hope they will stay that way for the rest of the weekend."
"It was pleasing to see both cars in a strong position after having done very little running, and Giancarlo's B spec engine is performing in line with our expectations. This has been a solid start, that we will look to build from in tomorrow morning's final practice session.
Fernando Alonso: 1st
18 laps total
Best time: 1:25.043
Giancarlo Fisichella: 6th
17 laps total
Best time: 1:25.991