US GP Benetton Friday notes

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a good first day's running at Indianapolis ahead of Sunday's United States Grand Prix. Jenson Button finished 13th-quickest with a lap of 1m14.186s, while team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella ended the day...

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a good first day's running at Indianapolis ahead of Sunday's United States Grand Prix. Jenson Button finished 13th-quickest with a lap of 1m14.186s, while team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella ended the day 17th-fastest on 1m14.911s, and Button said afterwards that the team's preparations for the race had gone well:

"Generally we have worked on race set-up and focused on long-distance runs, which seems to have been positive. We had a bit of understeer this morning in the low- and mid-speed corners. We got around that problem, although that left us with a little bit of oversteer at corner exits. The later you put new tyres on in a session, the quicker you tend to be. I put mine on quite early and I think that explains why we are only 13th.

"Overall it has been a good day and we have got through our full programme of work, which is the main thing. We have done some good work in preparation for the race and I like this circuit a lot - it has a good mixture of corners and it's fun to drive."

Fisichella added that he was also pleased with his day's work, saying:

"During this morning's session, the set-up was good and the car felt very well balanced, which made me feel encouraged for the afternoon. Before the start of that session we made some alterations to the car, which improved the set-up even more.

"Unfortunately I lost control of the car at Turn Six and went into the gravel, so that was the end of today's free practice I'm afraid. I am, however, optimistic for tomorrow's qualifying because I only completed 21 laps and my best time does not reflect the car's potential."

Technical Director Mike Gascoyne was confident that the team can now put in a strong qualifying performance, saying:.

"Overall we had a reasonably productive day with both our cars, although Giancarlo's day was cut short when he spun into the gravel trap. He did not run with new tyres and was happy with the balance of the car before he made his mistake. Jenson ended up fairly happy with the balance of his car. We are optimistic for tomorrow and I believe we can maintain our recent run of improved qualifying form."

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team will be back on track at 0900 local time on Saturday morning for the final practice sessions ahead of the afternoon's all-important qualifying hour.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button , Mike Gascoyne
Teams Benetton