The ING Renault F1 Team was in Barcelona today to begin the first of three days testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. Beautiful weather greeted the team this morning as test driver Romain Grosjean made his testing debut for the team at the wheel of the R28.
The young Frenchman was delighted at the chance to work with the team and to contribute towards the team’s development programme. With next week’s French Grand Prix in mind, the team began its aero programme, but the main priority today was to allow Romain to acclimatise himself with the R28, build his confidence and get comfortable with the team.
Despite some problems with the car and a thunderstorm late in the day, Romain was happy with his day’s work, completing a total of 60 laps. For tomorrow Nelson Piquet takes over driving responsibilities as the team resumes its aggressive development programme.
Romain Grosjean: “It was a great day and I’m grateful for this opportunity to test the R28 and work with the team. It was interesting to see the difference between a GP2 car and an F1 car which is quite incredible, especially the acceleration and the lateral grip. The team made me feel very welcome and everyone was helpful as they knew it was my first time in the car. It was a great experience for me.”
Christian Silk, Chief Test Engineer: “It was a difficult day in terms of the car as we had some irritating problems which slowed the programme down a bit. We completed some aero work, but the main priority today was to give Romain some mileage in the car and to get him used to the team. He had a good first day and settled in reasonably quickly, so we are happy with his performance today. Looking ahead we will have a heavy programme for the rest of the week with a lot of aero and chassis work to be done.”
Romain Grosjean R28-04, 60 laps, 280 km, fastest lap 1:23.899