Renault team leader Robert Kubica was again in the mix today in practice for Sunday's F1 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Kubica managed to set competitive times in both sessions and while he admitted it was tough to get a good balance, he still ended FP1 and FP2 fifth on the timesheets, his best lap of the day, a 1 minute 41.576 seconds.
“It was an unusual start to first practice today with a damp track, but once it had dried out, the situation was similar to what we found last year,” Kubica said.
“The track evolution was huge, and the tyre degradation was pretty high, too, which made it hard to do much consistent running because the circuit was getting better as the tyres got worse. It's tricky to find a nice balance on the car here, because the off-camber corners are frustrating to drive and the high rear degradation means the car oversteers quite a lot.
“As usual, tomorrow will be a challenging day, too: we will complete final practice in daylight, before qualifying at dusk, and we will have to anticipate the change in track temperature and how it affects the car.”
Vitaly Petrov meanwhile also had a good day in the sister R30 and while he was only twelfth in the first session, he improved in the second and concluded the day seventh overall on a 1m 42.096s.
“The circuit was very dirty during first practice, and the tyre performance dropped off very quickly because of that, making the car difficult to drive,” noted the Russian.
“We made some good improvements between the sessions, particularly with the brakes, and it felt much better – plus the circuit cleaned up and grip levels improved. In the end, we got more laps done than we had planned, which will give us a good amount of data to try and improve further tomorrow.”
Renault's chief race engineer, Alan Permane added: “It was a very normal Friday for us, with no dramas. We worked through our usual programme of setting the car up in first practice, then doing tyre evaluation and high-fuel runs in the second session.
“Overall we were reasonably happy with the car balance, but we will be working to improve further tomorrow to find the right compromise between qualifying and the race,” he summed-up.