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Australian GP: Practice notes - Renault

NEWS STORY
25/03/2011

Nick and Vitaly kicked off their 2011 campaigns today as free practice got underway at Melbourne's Albert Park.

Alan Permane, Chief Engineer: The track was very green to begin with and we didn't do a great amount of running in the first session. We used one set of hard tyres per driver and it all went as planned. We used flow viz paint on both cars to assess the performance of the DRS (drag reduction system). We also practiced using KERS in both sessions. We ran both the hard and soft tyres in the second session and did some high fuel work on the soft tyre. We have evaluated some new aerodynamic parts and they are performing well.

What we learned today: Tyres are performing better than expected. High fuel running in the afternoon confirmed that there are no concerns over braking and cooling.

Nick Heidfeld: "I think today was OK. We spent more time than we expected working on the set-up and so we didn't do as many laps as we wanted. The car felt alright, but I think we can still improve. With the hard tyres it was quite difficult to get enough grip, and the small problems that we had meant I couldn't really do a long run in the end. Also, the wet weather conditions meant it was not ideal to learn about the car, but I think we're lucky that it stayed pretty dry. It's still very difficult to know exactly where we stand, but we do have a better picture than we had yesterday."

Vitaly Petrov: "It's always fun to get the season underway. The weather was quite cold, but I didn't have any issues with the car during the sessions. We did the baseline set-up work and found some good improvements during the day and I already feel quite comfortable with the balance of the car here. The other good news is that the tyres were performing well today and lasting quite a bit longer than expected."

To check out our Friday gallery, click here.

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