Both Renault drivers were quick to point out the bump at Turn 11 of the new-look Silverstone circuit after Friday practice, which gave mixed results for the two drivers.
Robert Kubica finished the morning session third fastest but after some set-up changes during the lunch break, could only manage eleventh fastest in the afternoon. The Pole took a few laps to familiarise himself with the new circuit before evaluating a new front wing.
“It has been a fairly normal Friday for us,” said Kubica. “Of course there is a new layout this year, so I had to get a feeling for the braking points and the lines, but to be honest it only took a couple of laps. We then evaluated a new front wing, but we will probably use the older spec for the rest of the weekend.
“In the afternoon we worked on the set-up just to get a feeling for the car, but I think we will stick with the settings we had this morning. The new part of the track was dirty and slippery because it was quite windy and there was a lot of dust. There is also a huge bump in turn 11 on the new tarmac, which is quite surprising for a new section of track.”
In contrast to his teammate, Vitaly Petrov made progress on set-up as the day went on. After setting only the twelfth fastest time in FP1, he improved to finish the day seventh fastest.
“Once I had learned the new section, I started to work on the set-up and we changed quite a bit between FP1 and FP2 and found an improvement with the balance,” explained the Russian. “We will continue working this evening and looking at the data to be ready for tomorrow.”
Petrov also pointed out the bump at Turn 11, and Chief Race Engineer Alan Permane acknowledges that Renault will have to take this into account when thinking about car set-up this weekend:
“The new part of the lap is particularly slippery and the windy conditions were blowing the dust about, which is why the track wasn't really cleaning up as we would normally expect. The new tarmac also seems pretty bumpy, so we've been playing a lot more with the ride heights, especially raising the front to improve the car's handling.”
“We brought another front wing development, but it does not seem as suited to the high-speed corners here as we would have hoped,” added Permane. “It was an improvement in the low-speed sections, but not overall lap time.”