Giancarlo Fisichella reported both a positive and productive opening day at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and remains optimistic that the revised Renault R27 can be a contender for both a good qualifying slot and possible points finish at a venue he enjoys.

Although the Italian slipped to eighth fastest across the two 90-minute sessions that opened the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, he believes that the changes introduced before and during the recent Paul Ricard test had improved the car not only for Monaco, but also for the first of the transatlantic flyaways. He completed a trouble-free
day as he ran through a technical programme including brake wear evaluation, tyre behaviour analysis and set-up changes to fine-tune the handling of the R27, and was encouraged by the car's performance and balance.

"I think this was a good first day for us, and the performance seems quite good," Fisichella reported "Everybody could see that the track was very dirty and low grip today, so it wasn't easy to work on the balance as the conditions were changing all the time, but we made some good improvements, and the car felt good by the end of the second session.

"My feeling with the car is similar to the low downforce test we did at Paul Ricard, and the handling is much more consistent, which confirms the step forward we made in Monaco. In terms of the tyres, we had a lot of graining on the soft tyre, and even some on the hard compound, but that will lessen as the grip improves, although it will still be quite tough to find the right race strategy, I think."

The Italian was quick to thank the team back at Renault's Enstone factory for their hard work, and admitted that he was hoping to again be able to race with BMW, who he beat in the race in Monaco two weeks ago.

"Giancarlo enjoyed a very satisfying day on circuit that we know he enjoys, and our first analysis of the times suggests that the progress we saw in Monaco seems to be continuing here," director of engineering Pay Symonds confirmed.



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