Renault team boss Bob Bell says the team has a 'good idea of how to move forwards' after a below par start to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean
found themselves well down the pecking order on the opening day of running at the new Yas Marina circuit, with Alonso ending the first day of practice in 16th place and Grosjean in 18th.
While Bell admitted that the team had expected to struggle somewhat with the circuit, he said the team had a productive day working on tyre evaluation and was confident that there was more to come in final practice and qualifying on Saturday.
“It was an interesting first day in Abu Dhabi,” he said. “Coming here we thought we would struggle more with the track, but it was cleaner than we expected. For us the day was mainly about the tyres, and in both sessions our main issue was with drop-off in rear tyre performance, particularly in the low-speed corners, which caused the cars to oversteer. In the high-speed corners the cars had a better balance with a bit of understeer.
“By the end of the day we had made good progress and have a good idea of how to move forward tomorrow.”
Alonso agreed that there was still more to come from the Renault
package, and said the team would sit down to work through the information gleaned from the first two sessions of the weekend to up the pace for Saturday.
“Today we experienced Yas Marina for the first time so we had to learn the circuit and work out the best way to set the car up,” he said. “We tried a lot of different things and made some good progress by concentrating on getting good grip and traction in the low-speed corners. As we expected, the track was a bit dirty to begin with, but when more rubber was laid down I started to get a good feeling for the circuit and the car.
“We have a lot of information to look over tonight so that we can make some changes in the morning to find some more performance from the car before qualifying.”