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Formula 1 News - May 2005

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21 May: Monaco Grand Prix - Saturday Qualifying Report - Renault F1

Fernando second and Fisico fourth after first qualifying in Monaco.

The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team registered a strong performance in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix: the team's drivers Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella finished the day on the first two rows of the provisional grid, which was characterised by unusually large time gaps between the leading drivers. Fernando Alonso finished the session in second position, while Giancarlo Fisichella was fourth after losing time in the final sector. The team is in optimistic mood for tomorrow's final qualifying session and race, and is confident in the speed of the R25 on long runs with old tyres. The Grand Prix will be closely-fought.

Fernando Alonso, P2
"I am extremely happy with P2 after that session. The circuit conditions were unknown for me after Ralf's accident, because I did not have the chance to see anybody else run on the circuit before me as I was on my out-lap when Jarno (Trulli) was qualifying. That meant it was a question of staying flat on the exit of Tabac and hoping the car got through, but it worked. The lap was quite good from my point of view and although the gap to Kimi is big, I am pleased to be on the front row because that is where you need to be at this circuit. We will have to see if there are areas to improve for tomorrow, but I am feeling confident in the car's performance and consistency."

Giancarlo Fisichella, P4
"The circuit seemed a bit more slippery than it was this morning, and in the last corner, I had a lot of understeer – which cost me at least three tenths of a second and put me behind the Williams of Webber. I am feeling confident for the race though: we know the car is quick over the long runs, and we were fast this morning on old tyres. I believe we will have a very competitive afternoon tomorrow."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering
"Giancarlo lost a significant amount of time at the end of his lap with some unexpected understeer, Fernando's lap seemed clean, but the times indicate that we still need a little more pace. We are in a good position to get our cars on, or close to, the front row tomorrow morning, which is a key factor here in Monaco. Looking ahead to the race, we will be hoping to see both drivers on the podium at the chequered flag."

Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations
"The most surprising factor in this afternoon's result is the size of the gaps between the different drivers – it is unusual to see the top cars separated by gaps of up to half a second. As a result, regardless of variations in fuel loads, I don't expect to see the grid change much in second qualifying tomorrow. Overall, we are happy to be the best placed team in this session, which gives us a good base to score plenty of points tomorrow. The race result will be dictated by the ability of the leaders to maintain a competitive pace throughout – and from what we have seen in practice, we are well able to do so."

2005 Monaco Grand Prix - Main Page
2005 Monaco Grand Prix - Team and Driver Saturday Qualifying Reports Page

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Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering Q&A (24/01/2007)
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Track Operations Q&A (24/01/2007)
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