Encouraging progress for Renault
ING Renault F1 Team today continued its development work at the famous Monza circuit, conducting further preparations for the forthcoming Italian Grand Prix. Monza requires the teams to develop a specific aerodynamic package, used only for this race, which demands very low levels of drag and downforce to be competitive on the long straights. This week's test is therefore important in order to validate these components, and conduct set-up work with the car in this unusual configuration.
After completing the first day of this week's test running chassis R27-01 fitted with the 2008-specification standard ECU, the team's first full track test with this new component, the ING Renault F1 Team reverted to a more traditional programme for day two of the test.
At the wheel of chassis R27-06 in standard 2007 configuration, the Finn focused on set-up work while using the low downforce aero package. The team focused on finding a driveable baseline balance, and on comparisons between the two types of Bridgestone Potenza tyre that will be available at this race, the soft and medium compounds from the 2007 range.
Heikki completed the programme without any delays, completing a total of 76 laps and 438 km, which will provide a solid basis when he begins working in free practice next Friday. His best lap of the day was 1'24.093, which put him P6 on the final timesheets.
Heikki Kovalainen: "We had a good day, and the car got better with every run. We worked hard so that by the end of the day, the R27 was well-balanced. I think this will be a good baseline to work from on Friday at the Grand Prix, and at that time, we will focus on fine-tuning the set-up to extract the final tenths of a second for the race. The team did a good job today, and we made encouraging progress."
Christian Silk, Chief Test Engineer: "We were lucky with the conditions today, because we had been expecting rain. Heikki enjoyed a productive day of testing, made good progress with the programme and did some useful race preparation for next week. It was a positive day for us."
Heikki Kovalainen, R27-06, 76 laps, 438 km, best lap: 1'24.093