The ING Renault F1 Team completed a busy day of practice in preparation for this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso, R2903 Free practice 1: 24 laps, 1:35.348 on lap 22, P18Run 1: 6 laps, hard tyres Run 2: 9 laps, same set of hard tyres, change to suspension and front wing Run 3: 8 laps, same set of hard tyres, change to rear suspension
Free Practice 2: 25 laps, 1:33.530 on lap 23, P2Run 1: 5 laps, new set of hard tyres, new gear box ratios Run 2: 9 laps, same set of hard tyres, change to rear suspension Run 3: 3 laps, same set of hard tyres, change to aero Run 4: 4 laps, new set of soft tyres Run 5: 4 laps, new set of soft tyres, change to rear suspension
Fernando: "We had very hot track and ambient conditions today – even hotter than we had in Malaysia. We therefore concentrated on evaluating the brake cooling for race conditions and also compared the tyre compounds to make sure that the tyres work well in these temperatures. We're happy with the work we have done today and managed to complete our programme."
Nelson Piquet, R2901Free practice 1: 20 laps, 1:34.974 on lap 8, P13Run 1: 8 laps, hard tyres Run 2: 7 laps, same set of hard tyres, change to weight distribution Run 3: 5 laps, same set of hard tyres, change to weight distribution
Free Practice 2: 29 laps, 1:34.411 on lap 23, P15 Run 1: 4 laps, new set of hard tyres, new gear box ratios Run 2: 13 laps, new set of soft tyres Run 3: 6 laps, new set of soft tyres Run 4: 5 laps, same set of soft tyres, change to rear suspension.
Nelson: "I've had a solid start to the weekend and ran with the new diffuser for the first time today, although it's difficult to know how much extra performance it gives the car. I think we still need to improve the car in the final practice session tomorrow, but we managed to get some good data today. I hope I can have a strong qualifying session tomorrow, but I think it will be tough to reach the top ten shootout."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering "The Bahrain circuit is our first hard braking circuit of the year and ranks among the hardest for the total braking system. In view of this, we spent a lot more time today on heavier than normal fuel loads, concentrating on our set-up for Sunday. Later in the session, we seemed to get some competitive times out of the car. As always on a Friday, the timesheet is not a complete reflection of competitiveness, but we are confident that we have moved the car forward since the beginning of the year."
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