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Belgian GP: Practice notes - Renault

NEWS STORY
05/09/2008

The ING Renault F1 Team began its preparations for the Belgian Grand Prix today as both Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet began their free practice programmes in Spa-Francorchamps.

Conditions were overcast and chilly for the morning session with light rain showers hitting the circuit during the afternoon. However, the track remained relatively dry for most of the day and the rain was not heavy enough to give the team significant wet weather mileage.

Both Fernando and Nelson were competitive throughout the day, with Fernando setting the fastest time in the damp afternoon session. Both drivers started working on the team's technical programme, which involved tyre evaluation and balance work to adapt the R28 to the demands of the longest track of the season. Between them, they completed 89 laps to give the team a good basis to build on for the rest of the weekend.

Fernando Alonso: We were able to make some good progress today with the set-up of the car, but the track conditions did not allow us to complete our programme. This is not too significant because the situation is the same for all the teams and we still have the final practice session tomorrow morning to prepare for qualifying, so I'm not too concerned.

Nelson Piquet: We had a lot to get through today, but in the end we didn't do as much running as I would have liked. Our programme was very busy, but I still don't feel perfectly comfortable in the car. I'm sure that this is something that I can improve with my engineers in time for tomorrow.

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: We always expect some of our sessions in Spa to be disrupted by the weather and today was no exception. We tried to change our plans in real time during the session to maximize what we could learn, but, as always, there are still questions to be answered. Overall, though, we've had a successful day.

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations: The conditions were very changeable and nobody was able to complete their technical programme as normal. However, we have been able to check some small things and will aim to find the rest of our answers tomorrow. So the day has been less busy than expected, but we remain positive for the rest of the weekend.

  • To check out our Spa Francorchamps practice gallery, click here
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