Grosjean just targeting place in Q2
|By Steven English and Jonathan Noble||Friday, August 21st 2009, 17:00 GMT|
Romain Grosjean says he will be happy just to make it through to the second round of qualifying tomorrow after a promising first day in Valencia for the Renault rookie.
The 23-year-old was 17th in today's first practice session before improving to 13th this afternoon, while team-mate Fernando Alonso topped the session.
"I still have many things to learn, but for sure I feel better than yesterday and I'm looking forward to tomorrow," said Grosjean. "Fernando showed today that the car is working quite well. For me, it was good to not do any big mistakes and to get as much experience as possible.
"If I manage to get to Q2 it will be a very good personal result, so we'll see what I can achieve."
Grosjean admitted that he needs to improve his performance on new tyres, but says he gained valuable experience of working with the tyres today.
"It was quite difficult in the afternoon to go from used tyres to the new ones," he added. "It was my first time with the option so I had no time to judge what was the difference. Now I have a bit more feeling of what is the difference between the option and the prime, and where I can gain time. So I will keep that in mind for tomorrow and work on the data to be as good as possible."
Alonso believes Grosjean performed well on his first day and says there is more to come from his team-mate.
"He did no mistakes and completed many laps today, which was the main priority - getting used to the F1 car," Alonso said. "It is only his first grand prix, but his learning process is quick and he made no mistakes – so that is the perfect start.
"He knows that I am here for anything that he wants in these first days - things with the car, with ratios, which gears on which corner, or how to use the kerbs, all these types of things. At the moment he did not ask me so he is quick enough."
Renault's executive director of engineering Pat Symonds was also pleased with Grosjean's debut: "I have to say I was very impressed with his progress today. He was pushing hard yet driving within himself and making steady progress."