San Marino GP: Renault Saturday qualifying notes

Fernando second and Fisico fifteenth after qualifying at Imola on Saturday. Seven different teams finished in the top seven positions during first qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix this afternoon in Imola. However, for the Mild Seven ...

Fernando second and Fisico fifteenth after qualifying at Imola on Saturday.

Seven different teams finished in the top seven positions during first qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix this afternoon in Imola. However, for the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team, results were mixed with Fernando Alonso lying second ahead of final qualifying, just three thousandths of a second behind pole-man Kimi Raikkonen, while Giancarlo Fisichella finished fifteenth after suffering oversteer on his flying lap.

Fernando Alonso:

"We prepared for the race a little bit differently this weekend, not running many laps, but everything was ready for qualifying. Historically, this has been quite a tough track for our team and so it is a nice surprise to be not only competitive, but fighting for pole position. Looking at our rivals, it's not just McLaren and Ferrari that we need to take into account, but Williams and BAR too who looked very fast today -- and will be tomorrow as well, I am sure."

Giancarlo Fisichella:

"We haven't found an explanation yet in the data, but going into turn 15, the rear brakes locked and that caused major oversteer -- I did everything the same as in practice, braking in the same place, so I don't think it was a mistake, but we are not sure yet. Obviously, it is very disappointing, because we know the car can be quick here, so I am hoping for a much better day tomorrow and some points."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:

"Fernando did an extremely good lap: he has not done a lot of running this weekend, and to be able to attack the circuit so well after a limited programme is a credit to him. Giancarlo experienced major oversteer in turn 15, which cost him a lot of time. With the times being so closely matched, he has paid a heavy penalty in terms of grid position, but we know he is capable of driving a strong race on this difficult circuit tomorrow afternoon."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations:

"It is disappointing to see our drivers so far apart on the grid. Fernando's lap showed that the car is competitive here, and that we have a well balanced package in terms of the car's handling and straightline speed. This afternoon's result showed how difficult an exercise single-lap qualifying can be, with seven different teams in the top seven, and we were among those who see our drivers in very different parts of the field."

"Giancarlo's position in the field leaves him little hope of improving his position in tomorrow morning's second qualifying session, and he will need to put in an aggressive drive tomorrow to make the most of the car's performance."

Fernando Alonso
2nd, 1:19.889
Giancarlo Fisichella
15th, 1:21.708

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams , Renault F1 Team