The Renault Formula One Team seems to be competitive at the new Korean International Circuit. During both Friday free practice sessions, Robert Kubica was in the top 5 while team mate Petrov took 11th during the first practice and 8th in the afternoon session.
Robert Kubica, R30-05
Free Practice 1: P2, 1:40.968, 18 laps
Free Practice 2: P4, 1:38.718, 29 laps
"At the beginning of the day the track was very slippery, just as we expected for new tarmac where nobody has run before. The track evolution was big and the track was getting better with each run and by the end of FP2 the conditions were quite good. We tested some different things between the two sessions and now we have to decide which is the best way to go, as well as trying to extract a bit more from the car."
Vitaly Petrov, R30-04
Free Practice 1: P11, 1.42.896, 22 laps
Free Practice 2: P8, 1:39.267, 28 laps
"The track was very dirty in the morning and afternoon, but it was always improving. We are still learning about the track and it was not easy to find the grip and a good set-up. The track is nice to drive, very smooth, and the race will be quite interesting because there is a lot of tyre degradation here. We still have a lot of work to do, but our pace is not too bad and we just need to continue to work in the same way tomorrow."
Technical Debrief with Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer:
Alan, how was the team’s first day in Korea? "It’s been a fairly calm day with both cars. We worked through our programmes and did a little bit more running than we would normally do in first practice because it’s a new circuit. Overall we’ve had a strong, competitive day and we’re very happy with the work we’ve completed."
Tell us about the track conditions… "It was very slippery this morning, but it steadily improved throughout the day and it was better with every lap."
What challenges does a constantly evolving track pose for setting up the car? "It’s a bit like being in Monaco where the track changes very rapidly. It’s difficult to do back-to-back tests because whatever you do the track is invariably quicker the next time you run, so you have to take that into account. In terms of preparing for qualifying, we can try and predict the lap time we expect in qualifying, but you also have to work with the track conditions as they are and maximise the grip you have at the time."
How do you judge the team’s competitiveness here? "It’s always difficult to know exactly where you stand on a Friday, but we have a reasonable idea of our competitiveness relative to the other teams and we’re quite happy with our day."