Petrov kicks of Renault testing


New driver Vitaly Petrov was in the Renault R30 for the first day of the final pre-season test, which takes place this week in Barcelona.

The bright sunny conditions, which were in stark contrast to the weather this time last week in Jerez, allowed the team to complete a busy test programme which consisted of practice pit stops in the morning and set-up work during the afternoon.

Petrov, who completed 74 laps for his new team, was relieved to find better weather in Barcelona. “The track conditions were pretty good today and it was nice not to have to drive in the rain! The day went quite well and we did a lot of pit-stop practice to begin with and then some set-up work, which was useful.”

Chief Engineer Alan Permane revealed that an hydraulic problem had limited the team's running on the first day of this crucial test. “We spent part of the morning doing pit-stop practice with Vitaly, which went very well. This was the first chance for our pit crew to practice with a running car at the circuit without refuelling and there were no procedural problems. Unfortunately we had a hydraulic problem in the early afternoon, which meant we had to change part of the hydraulic system and that limited our running. But we were still able to do some set-up work as we concentrated on getting Vitaly comfortable in the car on this circuit.”

Petrov will now wait until Saturday to return to the car, as Robert Kubica resumes his testing duties tomorrow.