With testing back on the menu for the Formula One fraternity after the summer break and Turkish Grand Prix, most teams used the opening day at Monza to focus on preparations for the Italian and Belgian GPs, but not Renault.

Although the Enstone team got its development programme back underway at the Italian circuit, it decided to concentrate on the electronic set-up for its 2008 car rather than a pre-race programme - despite there being just a week to go before the annual race at Monza.

As a result, Nelson Piquet Jr went out without any driver aids in order to provide the team with his initial impressions, completing several long runs and concentrating on setting the car up for its new configuration. The data recorded will be now analysed by the team, both overnight at Monza and again when it gets back to the factory, in order to supplement the framework of its 2008 project development.

"The car was not really different, just a bit less predictable and slightly trickier to drive as it is less forgiving," Piquet revealed, "It's difficult to be consistent as the laps unfold, but I think I got to grips with it fairly quickly. We've revised the braking load to adapt the car to 2008, and we concentrated on setting it up in this configuration. I think we've done a good day's work today, with a lot of laps covered."

Clouds began to gather over the circuit during the afternoon, forcing the team to partially revise its programme and begin testing for the forthcoming grand prix with the forecast for the next two days not being promising. Piquet quickly got back into his stride in the 2007-spec R27 and, by the end of the day, had covered 94 laps and set the seventh fastest time.

"It was really heavy today at Monza," chief test engineer Christian Silk confirmed, "Our programme went off with any hitches, and we've recorded interesting data on our first day's testing in 2008 configuration. The car was reliable and the new on-board electronic systems worked without any problems, so we managed to cover a lot of laps."

Heikki Kovalainen will take over behind the wheel for day two of the test, preparing for the Italian Grand Prix and only running in 2007 set-up.



Loading Comments...