Renault Hit by Software Problems

Renault blamed software problems and the cold track temperatures for their failure to match title rivals McLaren on the opening day of practice for the German Grand Prix

Renault Hit by Software Problems

World Championship leader Fernando Alonso ended the day third fastest, less than one second slower than title rival Kimi Raikkonen, with Giancarlo Fisichella a further six-tenths adrift in sixth.

Despite the times, however, the day was far from straightforward.

Both Renault drivers were left stranded in the pits in the first session due to software problems while the cold ambient temperatures made it difficult to find a good car set-up in the second session.

Alonso said: "The cold temperatures meant the grip levels on the track were very low today, which always makes the car hard to drive - it was really hard to brake properly today and stop the car for the hairpins.

"Apart from the problems caused by the low track temperature, the car actually felt pretty good: the balance was consistent, and we are higher up the times than usual for a Friday - I am the second fastest race driver. So it was a pretty good day overall, but the conditions were just very tricky."

Fisichella, who had a minor collision with a Minardi in the second session that damaged a wheel, added: "The circuit was extremely slippery this afternoon - I was locking the front brakes into all of the slow corners, and it was really hard to find the grip we needed to attack the braking zones.

"The low temperatures also seemed to give the car a bit of understeer, but after talking to Fernando, I know it was the same for him - and probably the others too. Apart from that, the car felt very consistent on the longer runs, but McLaren looked pretty quick too."

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