2012, April 14

Chinese Grand Prix, Saturday

FP3: Dry, air temp 19° - 21°, track temp 24° - 27°
Q1: Dry, air temp 21°, track temp 25°

Fastest laps / positions:
FP3: PET 1.38.701, 19th / KOV 1.39.198, 20th
Q1: KOV 1.38.463, 19th / PET 1.38.677, 20th

Total laps:
FP3: PET 19 / KOV 19
Q1: KOV 9 / PET 7

Runplan - FP3
Heikki Kovalainen
1059 - 1105: Installation, 2 laps (medium tyres)
1105 - 1116: System checks
1116 - 1129: Run 2, 7 laps (medium tyres)
1129 - 1134: Changes: rear ride height
1134 - 1145: Run 3, 6 laps (medium tyres)
1145 - 1152: Changes: n/a
1152 - 1200: Run 4, 4 laps (soft tyres)

Vitaly Petrov
1100 - 1103: Installation, 1 lap (medium tyres)
1103 - 1111: System checks 
1111 - 1122: Run 2, 6 laps (medium tyres)
1122 - 1126: Changes: front wing flap angle
1126 - 1138: Run 3, 6 laps (medium tyres)
1138 - 1150: Changes: front suspension adjustment
1150 - 1202: Run 4, 6 laps (soft tyres)

Runplan - Q1
Heikki Kovalainen
1400 - 1406: Run 1, 3 laps (medium tyres)
1406 - 1409: Refuel
1409 - 1414: Run 2, 3 laps (soft tyres)
1414 - 1417: Refuel. Changes: front wing flap angle
1417 - 1423: Run 3, 3 laps (soft tyres)

Vitaly Petrov
1401 - 1410: Run 1, 4 laps (soft tyres)
1410 - 1417: Refuel
1417 - 1423: Run 2, 3 laps (soft tyres)

Team Quotes

Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#3: "I pretty much got as much as I could out of the car today. I made a small mistake in the final corner on my second run that maybe cost me a couple of tenths, but the car felt well balanced and there probably wasn't any more to come in Q1. On my first run I was blocked by Maldonado on the back straight, so we'll see what happens with that, but overall I'm pretty pleased with my performance so we'll see what happens tomorrow."

Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#2: "I've had a couple of issues today with finding the right balance, but on the second run in Q1 I had a pretty good lap and I think it all came together to put that time in. We know from the first two races we can fight on Sundays and we've looked relatively easy on the tyres, so with a good plan and a bit of luck maybe tomorrow can bring us something good."

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: "From the engine perspective the conditions today obviously suit us better and we saw that the strategies we were running worked. Today it was about maximising outright top speed over the two straights whilst giving the drivers the engine characteristics they look for in the slower corners and we can be reasonably pleased that we have achieved both objectives."

Mark Smith, Technical Director: "The team here in China and back at the factory have been working hard on some specific areas, particularly on ensuring we can get the most out of the tyres when it matters. Today we saw positive results on both cars, and having tweaked the setups overnight we saw Heikki record a time just under 8/10ths from the car ahead, which is a step forward for us in qualifying. Last year we were almost 1.5 seconds behind the car in front in Q1 so that shows we are progressing. Now we turn our focus to the race and the clear aim is to keep up the race pace we showed in Australia and Malaysia and make sure both cars cross the finish line."