more than 3500 km of testing last week at Monza, the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team was able to run a reduced programme during the
opening day of practice for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at the historic autodrome. Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella
concentrated on final tyre choice for the rest of the weekend, as well as minor set-up changes prior to fine-tuning the car balance
tomorrow morning. Both drivers found the car's handling altered since last week owing to the hotter track conditions, and although
they finished the session on the fringes of the top ten, they remain confident for the rest of the weekend.
Fisichella, 17 laps in total, P9, 1:22.440 "There was much less grip out there today than we had at the test, which can
be seen from the lap times – we are more than a second slower than last week. That meant the car was a bit tricky to drive, but we
can fix that tomorrow morning. Overall, I think McLaren probably have the advantage over us – but we are where we expected to
Fernando Alonso, 12 laps in total, P10, 1:22.594 "It was not too bad a day for me. The track
conditions were not as good as last week in the test, because it was much hotter and that made the car harder to drive. We did a lot
of running on the tyres last week, so today's runs were just to confirm what we found in the test, and Michelin have brought two
very good tyres. It looked like everybody was struggling a little bit for grip, because we saw a lot of spins, but we can adjust the
car overnight to compensate. Overall, I think we are in quite a strong position."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director
of Engineering "We ran a very limited programme today after an extensive test last week, which allows us to conserve engine
potential for the rest of the weekend. The circuit conditions caught us out slightly, as the track temperatures were several degrees
higher than at the test and this had an impact on the balance of the cars. Overall, though, the order seems fairly typical – and
we are in our usual Friday positions, on the edge of the top ten. We have a clear idea on our tyre choice, and will work on
fine-tuning the balance of both cars tomorrow morning."
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations "Two
weeks ago, we found ourselves confronted with a brand new circuit and a large amount of work on Friday. Today was exactly the
opposite, running at a track we know intimately after running thousands of kilometres here last week. In that kind of situation, any
surprises would be bad ones – and fortunately we did not encounter any! Both fresh RS25 engines are running normally, and our
straight-line performance is competitive, just as it was in testing."