Renault fastest but hampered by issues

F1 Test, Valencia, Valencia, Ricardo Tormoes

Robert Kubica set the pace on the final day in Valencia as the team completed its first test with the R31. It wasn't all good news however for the team, as the Pole was unable to complete his program after reliability problems before noon.

Renault GP initially concentrated to measure the downforce product by the car with some aero runs in the morning. This involves running the car at constant speed on the straight. Everything ties up well with the wind tunnel figures.

After that, Initial set-up work was very productive and the team found some good directions.

Despite some hindrance by reliability problems, almost all of the routine systems checks have now been completed, allowing the team to focus on performance work and tyre evaluation in Jerez next week.

Robert Kubica:
“I think we can split the day into two halves because we had some problems in the morning and we only managed to do our first real run about 1:30pm. But, after we solved the issues with the car, we managed to do a bit of set-up evaluation and some tyre work. However, because of the time we lost this morning we didn’t complete the laps we targeted, but it’s better to get any reliability issues with the car during testing, rather than when we get to the first race in Bahrain.”

James Allison, technical director:
“After months of effort from the whole team, it was great to be on the track for the first time with the R31 this week. Our first three days of testing have not been without incident, but we have managed a good amount of running, proving out the reliability and functionality of all the key systems on the car notwithstanding its rather unusual layout. The first test has shown that management of the tyres this season will be absolutely critical, so it was good to have made some progress in this regard. We move on to the second pre-season test next week looking to make further progress with set-up and tyre management prior to getting the first race package together in the later tests.”

Alan Permane, technical programme notes:
- It was a tricky morning with some electrical gremlins on the car. We eventually got to the bottom of them, but it took us longer than expected, so we lost some track time.
- The afternoon was much more productive. We ran a set-up programme, which was the first time we had made any significant changes to the car and steadily improved the balance.
- In the latter part of the afternoon we concentrated on reliability work with some long runs and it’s encouraging to have covered 95 laps.

Test information Driver: Robert Kubica
Chassis: R31-01
Fastest Lap: 1:13.144
Position: P1
Total laps: 95