Both team and drivers were satisfied with Renault’s first practice session of 2010 as they spent the day running on a variety of fuel loads and testing the behaviour of the two Bridgestone tyre compounds around the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain.
Robert Kubica was positive after setting the third fastest time in the morning session, and completing 48 laps in total today. “The conditions today were totally different to winter testing with high track and ambient temperatures. That was something new for everybody and it had a big effect on the tyres, which is why we did a couple of runs to observe the tyre degradation, followed by some set-up work. During the first session the new part of the track was quite dusty and slippery, but it improved during the day. I expect the track to improve a lot more over the weekend, too. Overall, it was a pretty good day.”
Vitaly Petrov, Renault’s new Russian driver, was excited to be part of the team, and is looking forward to his maiden qualifying session tomorrow. “It was a great feeling to be out in the car for the first time this morning, but we had a busy programme so I got straight down to work. We had a few small problems to begin with, but we will work hard overnight to try and improve the car. My first F1 qualifying session tomorrow will be very interesting.”
Chief Race Engineer Alan Permane had praise for his two drivers at the end of the day, and is also pleased with the R30’s performance. “Robert did everything we expected of him today and Vitaly also had a very solid first day of practice as an F1 driver. The two tyre compounds are behaving as we expected and are similar to the tyres we used at this circuit last year, with the super soft compound performing very well. In terms of car balance, there is still a little bit of understeer that we need to dial out overnight, but the rear end is stable and we have a good car under braking, which is what you need at this track. All in all, it's a satisfying start to the weekend.”