The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team completed a successful opening day of their home race weekend during the first free
practice sessions in Magny-Cours. Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella completed tyre evaluation programmes during both
sessions, conducting performance and endurance running to enable the team to select the best tyre type for the rest of the weekend.
Fernando's running was cut short by a cracked exhaust pipe in the second session, but overall the results of the day were
encouraging, with both drivers finishing near the top of the timesheets.
Fernando Alonso, 33 laps in total, P4,
1:15.242 "We had a good balance on the car right from the start of the day, and we didn't change the set-up at all. That's
always a good way to start on Friday, because it means you can use your laps to test the tyres properly and work on other things.
The biggest problem today was the wind, which made the handling quite unpredictable in the high-speed chicanes, and the car was not
consistent lap to lap because of this. But overall, I think we look quite strong at the moment."
38 laps in total, P5, 1:15.380 "It was a good day for us – we are very pleased with our positions after second practice. I
think we are in good shape for the weekend and even though we don't know our tyre choice yet, I think we can be optimistic
regardless of which tyre we choose. I had some high-speed understeer in the car which we need to work on overnight but we are in a
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering "We had a very normal Friday session, with
a good balance on the cars from the word go and just some fine-tuning to complete tomorrow. The day was relatively trouble-free,
although Fernando had to cut his run short this afternoon because of a cracked exhaust. The tyre test was slightly compromised by
traffic, but we will be able to pick out the relevant data overnight. All in all, it was a standard Friday, and we encountered no
problems that might worry us for the race."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations "Like our
competitors, we completed a substantial number of laps today in order to get the best possible baseline for our race performance. We
encountered no significant problems, and will work overnight on tuning the performance of a number of new peripheral parts that we
have introduced since Indianapolis. On the technical front, today provided a substantial amount of information for the rest of the
weekend; on the sporting side, I believe it showed we have the potential to be very competitive this weekend."