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`Good progress` for Alonso, Renault.

Fernando Alonso believes that Renault made 'good progress' during practice on Friday ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at the popular Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

Alonso was on the pace in both FP1 and FP2 in his R28, setting the fifth best effort in the morning when conditions were dry and then topping the times in the afternoon, when light rain early on made conditions rather tricky.

In the end the two-time world champion finished up 'best of the rest' on the combined times, behind only the two Ferrari's of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen and the two McLaren's of Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen.

"We were able to make some good progress today with the set-up of the car, but the track conditions did not allow us to complete our programme," he reflected after managing 46 tours in total.

"This is not too significant though because the situation is the same for all the teams and we still have the final practice session tomorrow morning to prepare for qualifying, so I'm not too concerned."

Alonso's team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr was tenth fastest in FP1 and 19th in FP2 in the sister car, his lack of form in the latter session due to confidence issues.

"We had a lot to get through today, but in the end we didn't do as much running as I would have liked. Our programme was very busy, but I still don't feel perfectly comfortable in the car," he conceded. "I'm sure that this is something that I can improve with my engineers in time for tomorrow."

Pat Symonds, Renault's executive director of engineering and Denis Chevrier, Renault's head of engine track operations, meanwhile are optimistic about what can be achieved in qualifying and in the race on Sunday.

"We always expect some of our sessions in Spa to be disrupted by the weather and today was no exception. We tried to change our plans in real time during the session to maximize what we could learn, but, as always, there are still questions to be answered. Overall, though, we've had a successful day," said Symonds.

"The conditions were very changeable and nobody was able to complete their technical programme as normal. However, we have been able to check some small things and will aim to find the rest of our answers tomorrow," Chevrier continued. "So the day has been less busy than expected, but we remain positive for the rest of the weekend."


Related Pictures

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Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28, Belgian F1 Grand Prix, Spa Francorchamps, 5-7th, September, 2008
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 leads Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16

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