Robert Kubica showed in Friday practice at Valencia today that Renault could be a threat to the top four teams on Sunday after finishing the day sixth.
The Pole said that new parts had made a difference to the cars performance, and that the day had passed without any reliability issues. “It was a fairly normal Friday for us and we managed to do quite a lot of laps to understand the car and the new developments that we have for this race,” explained Kubica.
“It was quite easy to evaluate the new parts and I was able to feel the difference with the car. Track conditions were pretty good, overall: it was quite dusty to begin with, but things improved a lot during the day.
Vitaly Petrov could only finish the day thirteenth, but he had never driven an F1 around here before, and the Russian says that their is still work to do on the set-up before qualifying. “I had driven here before in GP2, but today was my first experience of Valencia in an F1 car,” said Petrov.
“Obviously it feels very different and I had to adapt my driving style. We had a lot of new parts to try out so the car felt quite different and I spent the sessions getting used to that and understanding the car's behaviour. Overall the car felt okay, but we're still working on the set-up and will continue that tomorrow morning.”
Chief Race Engineer Alan Permane said that the updates Renault had brought to Spain this weekend were working as expected: “We had a good look at our new parts today, including our first iteration of the blown floor. The data was encouraging and it seems to be working as the wind tunnel and CFD predicted. We expect to continue running with our updates for the rest of the weekend.”