Renault’s Executive Director of Engineering, Pat Symonds believes that strong winds and tyre degregation will make tomorrow’s Bahrain Grand Prix very difficult for the drivers. However Symonds and Fernando Alonso believe that if these diffculties can be over come, then Renault can expect a points finish.
Alonso will line up seventh on the Grid for tomorrow’s race, while his team mate, Nelson Piquet, continued to struggle in fifteenth place. As question marks continue to be raised about his future, the young Brazilian hopes that a strong race strategy can move him up the field.
Fernando Alonso – 7th: “Once again we saw a very close qualifying session. It’s difficult and stressful inside the cockpit, but I guess it’s very interesting for the viewers. We haven’t made many changes to the car since China, but the team has been working late into the night once again to give me a competitive car. Qualifying went more or less as we had expected and starting 7th is about what we imagined was possible. Tomorrow we need to do everything we can to finish in the points, aiming for the top six and maybe even higher.”
Nelson Piquet – 15th: “I pushed a bit too much to try to get into Q3. I had four cars around me and I really couldn’t do much so I had to take some risks and pushed hard, but it wasn’t good enough to go through to Q3. Hopefully we will have a strong start to the race and can adopt a good strategy so that I can challenge for the points, which is what we need right now.”
Technical Debrief with Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering
Track conditions: We had very warm conditions today with ambient temperatures reaching 38°C and track temperatures around 50°C. Both cars and tyres where therefore tested severely.
Performance: Our performance today is mixed. Fernando’s position in qualifying again reflects where we think our level of competitiveness is at the moment. But Nelson unfortunately made a mistake during his important lap in Q2 and is probably not showing everything he is capable of.
Race outlook: The race will be difficult tomorrow. The wind has already caused problems today and is forecast to be even stronger tomorrow. Strategically it will be important to look after the tyres, but I’m confident that we can have a strong points-scoring finish.