Busy day for Renault

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuitae

The Renault Formula One Team completed a busy day of practice at the Yas Marina circuit in preparation for this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Both Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean took the time to get to know the new track.

Fernando Alonso, R2901
Free practice 1: 23 laps, 1:45.865, P16
Free Practice 2: 29 laps, 1:42.782, P16

Fernando: “Today we experienced Yas Marina for the first time so we had to learn the circuit and work out the best way to set the car up. We tried a lot of different things and made some good progress by concentrating on getting good grip and traction in the low-speed corners. As we expected, the track was a bit dirty to begin with, but when more rubber was laid down I started to get a good feeling for the circuit and the car. We have a lot of information to look over tonight so that we can make some changes in the morning to find some more performance from the car before qualifying.”

Romain Grosjean, R2903
Free practice 1: 27 laps, 1:46.411, P20
Free Practice 2: 37 laps, 1:43.021, P18

Romain: “The circuit is very nice and it feels like there are two different parts. The first part is like a ‘normal’ track and the second part, including the third sector, has a lot of 90-degree corners that are very challenging. I quite like sectors one and two, but not sector three as you cannot afford to make any mistakes there. These very different sectors are a challenge when it comes to setting up the car. Also, the temperature difference between the sessions played a relatively big role in today’s programme as we ran on the track during the day and the night, which allowed us to see what it will be like for the race. Now I’m look forward to tomorrow and building on today’s work.”

Bob Bell, Team Principal: “It was an interesting first day in Abu Dhabi. Coming here we thought we would struggle more with the track, but it was cleaner than we expected. For us the day was mainly about the tyres, and in both sessions our main issue was with drop-off in rear tyre performance, particularly in the low-speed corners, which caused the cars to oversteer. In the high-speed corners the cars had a better balance with a bit of understeer. By the end of the day we had made good progress and have a good idea of how to move forward tomorrow.”