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China GP: Qualifying notes - Renault

NEWS STORY
18/10/2008

The ING Renault F1 Team enjoyed a successful qualifying session this afternoon with Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet securing 4th and 11th places on the grid for tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix.

Much like yesterday, weather conditions at the Shanghai International Circuit were warm and sunny, giving good conditions for the qualifying hour. Both Fernando and Nelson carried their good form into the session, progressing comfortably through to Q2 where Nelson set the 11th fastest time. Fernando continued through to the top ten shootout where he secured his position on the second row of the grid.

Those positions leave the team hopeful of another strong race tomorrow where the objective will be to consolidate fourth place in the constructors' championship.

Fernando Alonso: I'm very happy with my qualifying session. We had a few problems with the balance of the car this morning, but everything went well this afternoon and the car was much easier to drive. I know it will be very difficult to fight for the victory tomorrow, but my grid position means that I can hope for a great race and I will be ready to make the most of any chances that come our way.

Nelson Piquet: It's frustrating to miss out on a place in Q3 by just seven thousandths of a second as I would have really liked to reach this part of qualifying. I am going to work with my engineers this evening and I'm hopeful of a strong race tomorrow. I will do my best in any case.

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: This morning was very difficult, but not just for us because the grip for all the cars seemed to be surprisingly low. We didn't make major changes for this afternoon, but the circuit seemed to come to the car. Just 0.007s would have put Nelson into Q3 but Fernando's starting position looks good for tomorrow.

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations: Fernando had a very good qualifying session and even though Nelson did not make it through to Q3 today, the potential was there and it was a good effort from him, especially his last attempt in Q2. Everything is open for the race tomorrow, but we have confirmed our overall performance from Fuji and we can now hope for a great race tomorrow afternoon.

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