The Renault Formula One Team can be satisfied with the first day of practice at the Shanghai International Circuit, venue of the Chinese GP. Both drivers had an encouraging and trouble-free day and they hope to continue this form through the rest of the weekend.
Robert Kubica, R30-03
Free Practice 1: P6, 1:37.601, 20 laps
Free Practice 2: P9, 1:36.389, 29 laps
"The first session was not especially productive for us, but in the afternoon we made some changes and found a better direction and a more normal balance with the car. We managed to get through most of our programme with some set-up work and a couple of runs for tyre evaluation. We still need to improve the overall balance of the car because we are still lacking overall grip, especially on low fuel runs, but the car felt much better on heavy fuel."
Vitaly Petrov, R30-02
Free Practice 1: P7 , 1:37.716, 17 laps
Free Practice 2: P12, 1:36.986, 27 laps
"It was a good day of practice for me with no significant issues with the car. We spent most of the day trying some different set-up options and analysing the new parts, and it feels like the car has improved. I’m quite happy with the overall balance but we are still missing some grip, so we need to look over the data tonight to see where we can improve."
Technical Debrief with Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer:
Track conditions and evolution: "The track was very low grip today and a bit dusty, but conditions slowly got better during the day. Having said that, even at the end of the day we felt the circuit was still lacking grip, but the situation should continue to improve up to and through qualifying."
Tyre performance: "We have the same specification of tyres here as at the last two races (the hard and soft compounds). Both compounds are performing reasonably well, although the hard tyre takes a little bit longer to warm up. The soft tyre seems a little bit quicker and will probably be the preference for qualifying."
General car balance: "We had some issues in the first session with Robert when he had some oversteer and the car was lacking grip, but we made a change between the two sessions and he was happier with the car in the afternoon. He was particularly pleased with the balance during his longer, high-fuel run in the afternoon. Vitaly suffered from some understeer but the car was generally quite well balanced. He had an encouraging and trouble-free day, completing lots of laps and posting competitive times."