Romain Grosjean staked his claim for a Renault drive today in Brazil after setting a faster lap time than Bruno Senna during the first Friday practice session, and finished the session twelfth on the timesheets.
The French driver, who is the reigning GP2 champion, very much enjoyed his chance to get back in the car here at Interlagos.
“I was looking forward to jumping in the car again this morning and the experience did not disappoint,” he said. “I loved every minute of it. It's a track I particularly like; a fantastic old-style circuit, with lots of fans in the grandstand too.
“We have seen some interesting data on the technical side, which the team is already looking at for next year. I want to spend as much time as I can in the car, and I really love getting behind the wheel – it's a job I love.”
Senna, who is also competing for a race seat for next season, was fourteenth in the same session, rising to twelfth in the afternoon. “It's been an interesting day,” said the Brazilian. “The performance in the second session was considerably better than that of the first session. Our times this afternoon were much more in line with the other teams than we could say for this morning.
“For tomorrow, we need to work on the balance of the car. That will be crucial to ensure we have a strong qualifying and give ourselves a good chance come Sunday too.”
Vitaly Petrov, who is in contract at Renault for next season, and is expected to be confirmed as one of their drivers soon, sat out the morning session. However, he set the fastest lap of any driver in the team during the afternoon session, and finished the day eleventh on the timesheets.
“FP1 was interesting for me and it was actually a very good experience to be on the pit wall for a session,” said the Russian. “It enabled me to understand better what the engineers see and what they require from the driver so I can put this knowledge to practice in future. In FP2 there were no mechanical problems, so I think my crew did a very good job to repair the car after the clutch problem in the morning. We know this is not an easy track for our car as you can see with our times.
“It will be difficult tomorrow in qualifying, but we work hard to try and get into Q3 but it's not going to be easy. Today we were struggling with rear traction and oversteer so we focused on improving this area as it is certainly hurting our pace.”