Renault again had a mixed Friday as Robert Kubica was fairly happy with his car, although he is convinced they still need to do a lot of work on the car. Vitaly Petrov had another difficult first day of a race weekend, now due to an accident early on in FP1.
Robert Kubica, R30-05:
Free Practice 1: P5, 1:13.370, 24 laps
Free Practice 2: P6, 1:12.882, 37 laps
"Our position looked pretty good in both sessions today but we know from experience that Friday can be misleading, so we need to be cautious. The main target overnight will be to improve the balance of the car because it was not ideal today – I was struggling with inconsistency and low grip. None of the changes we made really allowed us to make a big step forward, so we need to work hard this evening to make progress. Although the circuit was quite slippery early on, the grip levels picked up quite quickly, so we had a consistent basis for our testing."
Vitaly Petrov, R30-02:
Free Practice 1: P15, 1.14.370, 23 laps
Free Practice 2: P15, 1:13.818, 26 laps
"We lost quite a lot of time this morning after my accident, and that obviously had a knock-on effect this afternoon as well. It’s been a difficult day for me, but I have enjoyed driving this circuit, which gives the driver quite a lot of challenges. We need to work hard tonight to ensure that we can make up for the problems we had today."Technical Debrief with Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer:
Robert finished in the top six in both sessions. How did his day go? It was actually a bit of a frustrating day, and we struggled to find a car balance that Robert was happy with. He suffered from inconsistency, probably owing to the low-grip surface here, and we will work tonight to improve that and make the car easier to drive.
Things looked tougher for Vitaly… Vitaly endured a very tricky day. A problem with the rear wing caused him to crash during this morning’s session, and the mechanics did a good job to get him out in good time in the second session. But he was always playing catch-up after that, and never really got comfortable with the car balance.
What’s your overall assessment of the day? We’ve still got a lot of work to do tonight, to improve both cars and get to where we want to be. What’s more, the weather forecast indicates that we’ll probably have rain all day tomorrow. That will be an added challenge – but, as always, could also give us the opportunity to spring a surprise.