The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team began the British Grand Prix weekend with a
solid day's work in opening practice today at Silverstone. Fernando Alonso finished the day in P7 after completing 23 laps, while
Giancarlo Fisichella's programme was delayed by a suspension change during the second session, limiting him to just 17 laps in total
and P13. Neither driver is yet happy with the handling in tricky conditions, and the engineering teams will work to fine-tune the
performance of the R25 this evening.
Fernando Alonso, 23 laps in total, P7, 1:20.990 "It was not too bad a day
for me. We still have some improvements to make to the balance, but I am quite happy because we had no problems, the programme ran
smoothly and the Michelin tyres seem very consistent. The conditions today were quite cold, which meant it was difficult to get the
tyres up to temperature in the first few laps, and the wind made it harder to be confident in the high speed corners. There is still
work to do, but I am quite encouraged with this beginning for the weekend."
Giancarlo Fisichella, 17 laps in
total, P13, 1:21.279 "I have not had a very good day here in practice. The grip levels and car balance were completely
different to what we experienced in testing here a few weeks ago, and it meant I was really struggling with understeer in the
high-speed corners today. Also, I had a delay at the start of the session which meant I did not do as much running as I should have
done. But the main thing for today is that we have a good direction for the tyre choice, which is the priority for Friday. We will
work hard this evening and tomorrow to gain back the time we lost."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering "Silverstone
is a circuit where the ‘fuel effect' – the time penalty for carrying a given quantity of fuel – is among the highest of the
season. Therefore, to see such a big, closely-packed group on the timesheets, especially when the lap-time is around eighty seconds,
is quite surprising, and undoubtedly an indication of some varying fuel loads along the pit-lane. At Renault, we ran our normal
Friday programme, working for the race, selecting tyres and beginning to fine-tune the balance of the cars. Neither driver is yet
happy, with both complaining of high speed understeer, but I think we have made a solid start to our race weekend."
Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations "Silverstone is a circuit which holds few surprises for us, and our programme was
therefore focused on tyre choice for the chassis team, and on the engine side, we completed the final mapping for the new C
specification engines we are running this weekend. The timesheets do not reflect our true level of performance, and we are confident
that we have completed some good preparatory work for the race during this afternoon's session."