Alonso Encouraged by Renault Form

Spanish driver Fernando Alonso was encouraged by his team's performance following today's opening practice sessions for the British Grand Prix

Alonso Encouraged by Renault Form

Renault's Alonso, the Championship leader after five wins in 10 races, sat out the morning session along with Italian teammate Giancarlo Fisichella but was seventh quickest in the afternoon.

Alonso admitted ahead of the race that he is expecting Renault to struggle to fight with McLaren for victory this weekend, but the Spaniard was happy with his pace on Friday.

"It was not too bad a day for me. We still have some improvements to make to the balance, but I am quite happy because we had no problems, the programme ran smoothly and the Michelin tyres seem very consistent," said Alonso. 

"The conditions today were quite cold, which meant it was difficult to get the tyres up to temperature in the first few laps, and the wind made it harder to be confident in the high speed corners. There is still work to do, but I am quite encouraged with this beginning for the weekend."

Fisichella was not so pleased with his day after he struggled with his car's handling and was also hit by a problem that cut his running short.

He finished down in 13th place.

"I have not had a very good day here in practice," the Italian said. "The grip levels and car balance were completely different to what we experienced in testing here a few weeks ago, and it meant I was really struggling with understeer in the high-speed corners today.

"Also, I had a delay at the start of the session which meant I did not do as much running as I should have done. But the main thing for today is that we have a good direction for the tyre choice, which is the priority for Friday. We will work hard this evening and tomorrow to gain back the time we lost."

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