The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team concentrated on tyre evaluation in sweltering conditions today in Budapest, during the
opening practice sessions for the 2005 Hungarian Grand Prix. The team completed limited running in the morning session as track
conditions steadily improved, before conducting longer distance work in the afternoon. Both cars suffered some oversteer throughout
the day, which the engineers will work to correct this evening, and proved consistent in lap-time. The drivers finished the day on
the fringes of the top ten, with Fernando Alonso finishing eighth, while Giancarlo Fisichella was eleventh after losing time when
the anti-stall system failed to activate following a spin.
Fernando Alonso, 31 laps in total, P8, 1:22.473 "Today
was not too bad, but the grip levels are still very low on the circuit. I didn't have any big problems with the car balance, some
oversteer at slow speed but nothing we cannot fix, and I think the main thing we need is for the grip levels to improve in order to
help the car. In terms of our competitiveness, we don't seem particularly quick at the moment, but you never know what fuel loads
other people are running. We need to just concentrate on our programme, make the tyre choice and find some ways to improve the speed
of the car."
Giancarlo Fisichella, 30 laps in total, P11, 1:22.652 "I didn't do as much running as I
wanted in the second session after I spun in the last corner, and the anti-stall didn't kick in, which left the car stranded. That
makes it hard to have a clear impression of where we are, but for me, there is still work to do on improving the behaviour of the
rear end of the car – we need better traction, and more rear end stability under braking. I didn't get a good feel for our
relative speed but from track-side, the McLarens looked very impressive today."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of
Engineering "We had a relatively normal day of practice, concentrating on assessing the tyres in the extremely hot
conditions – track temperatures were nearly 50°C this afternoon. The car ran faultlessly in the hot conditions, and does not seem
to be adversely affected by the heat. The early indications are that either of the Michelin tyres are suitable race tyres, and we
have some work to make our choice. Balance-wise, the cars are suffering from some oversteer, but that is something we can dial out
Denis Chevrier, Head of Engine Operations "A typical working Friday for the team, as we
evaluated the car's performance in the hot conditions and on the two tyres available to us. As always, the majority of our programme
focused on long runs to get the clearest possible indication of the car's race speed, and also in order to adjust the cooling levels
appropriately for the engine and other accessory components. The day ran smoothly, and we have the data we need to make the correct
choices for the rest of what promises to be a very hot weekend."