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GP Week : Issue 10
AT&T WILLIAMSF1 TEAM 7 8 Unlike its rivals, Renault suffered little on Friday. While track conditions were less than ideal in the cold Turkish springtime, Alonso set the fourth best time in the morning but slipped to ninth in the afternoon. Piquet had been ninth in the morning but, like his team-mate, slipped down the order in session two – the Brazilian nevertheless happy with his preparation. Saturday saw a now familiar tale in qualifying as Alonso cruised into the top 10 as Piquet struggled to get out of Q1. Piquet was hugely disappointed with himself and 17th position, while Alonso said that seventh was where he’d expected to be. The Spaniard translated that pace into sixth position in the race itself, and three valuable points to add to the team’s tally. Piquet was caught out in the mess at the first corner but held his nerve and drove well throughout to record only his second career finish. The team is making great improvements and as soon as Piquet gets qualifying sorted, Renault will be a regular force. The cool and damp track restricted Williams’ running on Friday, but team leader Nico Rosberg was happy with the amount of aero work he had been able to do en route to 13th place in both sessions. Kazuki Nakajima was revelling at the Turkish track and finished in sixth and eighth positions in the two sessions, carrying out tyre comparison work and amassing some useful data for his engineers. Qualifying was a disappointment though. Nakajima again failed to make a mark and wound up 16th, while Rosberg fared only slightly better in 11th. He was unhappy with a few residual niggles, but ultimately was happy he was able to now chose his own strategy with a non-top 10 slot. The race was over before it had started for Nakajima, an innocent victim of Fisichella’s late braking. Rosberg, however, drove with maturity and sheer balls to grab eighth position and a valuable point. The team will now hope to make the extra gains it needs to consistently fight for points, and Nakajima will need to sort out his qualifying in order to remove the chances of getting nerfed out in the traditional first lap chaos at the back. ING RENAULT F1 TEAM 5 6 F1 TURKEY >> 37