Renault's number two driver, Heikki Kovalainen believes that there is more performance to come from the R27 after he set the fifth and eighth best times in FP1 and FP2 respectively.

Kovalainen, who is going for his fourth points finish in succession this weekend, after coming home seventh, eighth and eighth in GB, Germany and Hungary, added that while the red flag in the second session - a result of a loose drain cover - hindered them a bit, it wasn't too much of an issue.

Indeed the Finn was reasonably pleased with the handling of his car at the end of Friday's two sessions.

"I was quite happy with the balance from the first run this morning, and we improved it all the way through the two sessions," he confirmed.

"I had a yellow flag on my final run, which stopped me from improving my time, but everybody had the same conditions.

"The red flag meant we weren't able to do all of our set-up changes, and there are still some improvements that we know can be made to find more pace. It has been a positive start to the weekend.

"I am happy with the car at this stage and I know there is more performance to come tomorrow."

Kovalainen's team-mate, Giancarlo Fisichella was a few tenths or so behind in both FP1 and FP2 in the other R27, eighth and twelfth quickest respectively.

Despite a problem with the engine mapping on his final run though, the Italian reported no big problems.

"The car balance is still a little bit inconsistent, so there are areas for us to work on overnight," he added. "But I think we seem to be in our usual position in the bottom half of the top ten - and we have made a good start."

Renault's executive director of engineering, Pat Symonds meanwhile felt that it was a 'pretty straightforward day', while Denis Chevrier, head of engine track operations, was also chuffed.

"It was a trouble-free day, and both engines performed well. This was a promising start to the weekend for us, and we will hope to build on it to ensure a strong qualifying performance tomorrow [Saturday]," he summed-up.



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