Monaco Free Practice notes - Renault


The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team began preparations for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix with two hard-working practice sessions today in Monte-Carlo. The Renault cars completed a total of 92 laps as the drivers re-acclimatised themselves to the demands of the challenging streets of the Principality, while the team conducted tyre comparisons and base-line set-up work on the R25. Fernando was pleased with the handling of his car, setting fastest time in the second session, while Fisico is seeking to improve braking performance in order to feel fully confident.

Fernando Alonso: For the drivers, the first day in Monaco means a little more than usual – we need to do a lot of laps in order to get a good feeling with the circuit, and we did that today without any problems, which is a nice start for the race. The set-up felt comfortable from the beginning, so there is not too much more to do but in any case, the track conditions are changing all the time on the first day, which means we look at the details of the set-up on Saturday. The car feels consistent on the longer runs, so things are going perfectly at the moment.

Giancarlo Fisichella: I have been struggling with the car a bit under braking today, and we still have to find some answers with the set-up so that I can feel completely comfortable around this circuit. The car felt fast on the long runs, so if I can find the extra bit of confidence I need, then we can be very quick. The R25 is competitive here, and I believe we will be in a strong situation on Saturday.

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: The opening day in Monaco always throws up a lot of questions, and today was no exception. It is very difficult to judge the changing conditions accurately, with the circuit grip increasing as rubber is laid down on the track surface, which means it is hard to draw any firm conclusions from the lap-times. However, the objective of a day like this is to get lots of laps done, which helps the drivers tune in to the circuit and gives the engineers the best chance of making an informed decision on tyre choice. Encouragingly, the cars already seem quite well balanced – which is not always the case in the low grip conditions early in the Monaco weekend.

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations: The primary objective at the start of the weekend in Monaco is to complete plenty of laps – this is a race where every detail counts, and it is important to run as much as possible in order that we can tune the engine and chassis, while also allowing the drivers to re-learn the nuances of the layout. We have had an incident-free day, which has helped us cover the basics for the weekend, and we will turn our attentions to fine-tuning the cars' performance on Saturday. This will be critical, as nowhere else is qualifying as important as in Monaco.

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Published: 19/05/2005
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