Renault team leader Robert Kubica made a strong start to the F1 2010 Belgian Grand Prix weekend on Friday in practice and he reported that the initial tests with the squad's new F-duct device were positive.

Renault is the last major team to adopt the McLaren pioneered device and if Kubica's pace in practice today is anything to go by it seemed to be working pretty well.

Indeed the Polish driver ran near the head of the times in both sessions, finishing FP1 in third and FP2 in fourth - his best effort, a 1m 49.282s, which was just a few tenths off pace setter Fernando Alonso.

"It was quite a good Friday for us," Kubica reflected. "The conditions in first practice were pretty bad, but our main aim was to check how the f-duct system was functioning on our car.

"We focused on getting experience of the system, for the engineers and for myself, and to get everything working properly - and we managed to do this in spite of running in the wet. In the second session, I ran every type of tyre: extremes, intermediates and both compounds of the slicks. Overall the car felt reasonable in all conditions, but I think we can make further improvements to the balance tomorrow."

Team-mate Vitaly Petrov was also happy with the F-duct equipped R30 and while he was only 17th in the very wet first session, he improved and was 11th in FP2.

"The first target today was to find out how the f-duct was working, and it looks pretty good," Petrov continued. "You can feel a good difference on the straights when the system is operating, and we are even driving with one hand in some of the corners. It gives the drivers a bit more work to do in the cockpit, but it's nothing difficult to handle.

"This afternoon, we started to do some set-up work, but the conditions were changing all the time. Hopefully we can make more progress tomorrow, in order to get really comfortable with the car ahead of qualifying."

Renault's chief race engineer, Alan Permane added: "This is the first time that we have brought our f-duct to the track, so we spent the morning learning about it in the wet conditions, completing lots of single-lap runs to gather data.

"It appears to be working very well, but we will need to go through the data thoroughly tonight, and check the installation on the car, to be sure everything is functioning as expected."


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