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GP Week : Issue 16
AT&T WILLIAMSF1 7 8 Day 1 turned out rather well for Renault in front of the adoring French crowd. Alonso and Piquet conducted tyre evaluation and data acquisition with the Spaniard topping Friday’s afternoon session after an apparent engine failure had curtailed his running in the morning. Piquet turned in a good performance to sit within the top 10. He’d improve this to the top time on Saturday morning. In qualifying Fernando did well to net fourth, while Nelson missed out narrowly on the top 10 to finish 11th. When the penalties played out he would start ninth, his best grid position of the season. The race showed just how light Alonso had been in qualifying as he was the first to stop and, after a hard race, he was disappointed to finish eighth. He would have finished seventh but for a mistake towards the end of the race that allowed his team-mate through. Piquet had raced well all day for those two points and the added confidence they will bring to him before Silverstone. “A day of homework” is how Patrick Head summed up Williams’ Friday, although with disappointing times neither driver was ultimately satisfied. Rosberg was in the ascendency throughout, posting the 14th and 11th fastest times to Nakajima’s 17th and 14th. Rosberg complained of oversteer while Nakajima lacked grip, but the duo had high hopes for qualifying. They needn’t have. Nakajima failed to make it out of Q1 and Rosberg was bottom of the pile in Q2. He’d start from the back row due to his Canada penalty. The duo raced hard but ultimately for no reward. Rosberg had enjoyed fighting at the front in Canada, but found himself at the opposite end of the pack in France to finish a frustrated 16th. Nakajima opted for a two stop strategy and wound up 15th admitting that the team couldn’t have done much better thanks to their lack of overall pace. With Renault, Red Bull and Toyota all picking up points, Williams will need a swift return to form at its home race in two weeks’ time. ING RENAULT F1 TEAM 5 6 F1 france >> 31