Solid first day for Renault despite understeer

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuitbh

The Renault F1 Team started the 2010 Formula One season on a positive note. Both Robert Kubica and newcomer Vitaly Petrov had a solid first day of practice at Bahrain although there is still some understeer that needs to be dialed out overnight.

Robert Kubica: “The conditions today were totally different to winter testing with high track and ambient temperatures. That was something new for everybody and it had a big effect on the tyres, which is why we did a couple of runs to observe the tyre degradation, followed by some set-up work. During the first session the new part of the track was quite dusty and slippery, but it improved during the day. I expect the track to improve a lot more over the weekend, too. Overall, it was a pretty good day.”

Vitaly Petrov: “It was a great feeling to be out in the car for the first time this morning, but we had a busy programme so I got straight down to work. We had a few small problems to begin with, but we will work hard overnight to try and improve the car. My first F1 qualifying session will be very interesting tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it.”

Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: “Robert did everything we expected of him today and Vitaly also had a very solid first day of practice as an F1 driver. We spent the two sessions running on a variety of fuel loads in order begin our preparations for both qualifying and the race. The two tyre compounds are behaving as we expected and are similar to the tyres we used at this circuit last year, with the super soft compound performing very well. In terms of car balance, there is still a little bit of understeer that we need to dial out overnight, but the rear end is stable and we have a good car under braking, which is what you need at this track. All in all, it’s a satisfying start to the weekend.”

Robert Kubica, R3003
Free Practice 1: 19 laps, P3, 1:57.041
Free Practice 2: 29 laps, P15, 1:58.155

Vitaly Petrov, R3002
Free Practice 1: 13 laps, P16, 1:58.880
Free Practice 2: 26 laps, P8, 1:56.750