Friday test: Renault sets the early pace

Renault's Fernando Alonso set the pace in a rain affected private test session ahead of the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours

Friday test: Renault sets the early pace

Alonso lapped in 1m16.709s before the rain came just over an hour into the session, three-tenths of a second quicker than Jaguar's Mark Webber. Jarno Trulli was third fastest, a further three-tenths down on the Australian's best mark.

It wasn't all good news for the Regie, however. Test driver Franck Montagny, making his debut on a grand prix weekend in place of Allan McNish, suffered a spectacular engine failure after just 40 minutes of the session.

Antonio Pizzonia was fourth fastest, but 1.2secs in arrears of Alonso's fastest time. The Brazilian was in attacking form this morning, locking up and overshooting the Adelaide hairpin on one lap, then sliding over the kerbs at the high-speed Imola kink on another.

Giancarlo Fisichella was fifth fastest for Jordan-Ford, just a matter of hundredths quicker than Montagny, who set a best lap of 1m18.823s before his problems. Ralf Firman was another casualty of the session when his Jordan ground to a halt after an hour, and he ended the session slowest of all. Both Firman and Montagny rejoined the session in their spare cars.

Minardi-Cosworth duo Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson were seventh and eighth, with the Dutchman holding a 0.4sec advantage over his British team-mate.

shares
comments
Ralf: Race is one thing, title another

Previous article

Ralf: Race is one thing, title another

Next article

Alonso Fastest in Friday Testing - French GP

Alonso Fastest in Friday Testing - French GP
Load comments
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021