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Published - Saturday, 16 April 2011

Chinese Grand Prix FP3 and Qualifying

Chinese GP 2011

'The journey of 1,000 miles starts with one step' Lao Tzu

Weather: Grey, cloudy, dry

Min/max track temperature: 21˚ / 24˚  

Total laps

FP3: KOV 12 / TRU 12

QUALIFYING: KOV 7 / TRU 10    

Fastest laps

FP3: KOV 1.38.176, lap 11 / TRU 1.38.739 lap 11

QUALIFYING: KOV 19th - 1.37.894, lap 6 / TRU 20th - 1.38.318, lap 9

FP3 Runplan

Driver: Heikki Kovalainen / Chassis: T128-01 

1100 - 1102: Installation, 1 lap

1102 - 1122: System checks

1122 - 1134: Run 2 / 6 laps

1134 - 1152: Adjustment - front wing flap

1152 - 1200: Run 3 / 5 laps

Driver: Jarno Trulli / Chassis: T128-03 

1100 - 1102: Installation, 1 lap

1102 - 1126: System checks / Adjustment - rear suspension setting

1126 - 1138: Run 2 / 6 laps

1138 - 1147: Adjustment - front wing flap, brake balance

1147 - 1200: Run 3 / 5 laps

QUALIFYING      

Runplan

Driver: Heikki Kovalainen / Chassis: T128-01 

Q1

1401 - 1409: Run 1, 4 laps

1409 - 1417: Refuel

1417 - 1423: Run 2, 3 laps

Finished - 19th

Driver: Jarno Trulli / Chassis: T128-03 

Q1

1401 - 1410: Run 1, 5 laps

1410 - 1413: Refuel / Adjustment - front wing flap

1413 - 1423: Run 2, 5 laps

Finished - 20th

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20: 'From my perspective I'm very happy with that. I left it all until the last minute and swapped to a one lap run, putting myself under a bit of pressure, but I put in a good final lap and got under 1.38. After FP3 we already knew we'd have a bit of a tricky qualifying session as the track temperatures were a lot lower than yesterday and that definitely affects our car. We're quite easy on the tyres and when the temperatures drop we need to work harder to get them up to the optimum heat, which means we don't get everything out of them, but in the race conditions we're definitely stronger and you can see that we're steadily doing what we want which is to keep pushing towards the midfield.'

Jarno Trulli, Car 21: 'I am really happy from the driving point of view because I pushed hard out there today and said over the radio that I think I got as much as I possibly could out of the car today. I'm still working on finding the right balance but little by little we're progressing so I think we keep on doing a good job across the whole team and after a good weekend from the reliability point of view we should have a good race tomorrow.'

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: 'From the engine side we have made another step forwards. The improvements across the car from the beginning of the year are starting to pay dividends and we are now close to the optimum engine strategy. Even though we have a lot more work to do I think we are getting closer to unlocking the real potential of the car so we are pretty happy with where we are now, and the direction we are heading in.'

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: 'A trouble free day but disappointing in terms of performance. In the cooler conditions we clearly struggled more with the tyres than last week and yesterday and we were some way off the level of performance we expected. However, we have seen that even in these conditions our race pace is much better and we are considerably more competitive so I think we can take the race to the midfield group in front and do ourselves justice.'

Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: 'We are realistic and we all knew when we woke up that the considerably lower temperature would mean we would struggle to replicate what we did in the yesterday's practice. Despite that we have had a good weekend so far, pretty much trouble free, and I know from talking to a few of the teams just ahead of us that we are starting to play a part in their strategies as they know we are very close to being able to take the fight to them in real pace. So, even though the gap is a bit bigger today than we would have liked, it is still clear that our steady progress will pay dividends over the long term.'

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