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DATE News (chronologically)
04/26/08
f1
Renault confirms Alonso on light load  Renault’s Pat Symonds confirmed to ITV Sport that Fernando Alonso’s shock front row qualifying slot was aided by a low-fuel strategy.

The Spaniard produced the qualifying surprise of the season so far as he just missed out on pole position to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen at Barcelona.

And although the team has made clear progress with its vastly upgraded R28 car in Spain, confirmed by Nelson Piquet Jr’s first top 10 grid slot, Renault’s engineering chief told Steve Rider after qualifying that Alonso had been fuelled lighter in Q3.

“Well obviously there is some strategy involved,” he told Steve. But I’m really pleased to see the proof of the work that we have been doing over the last few months and to see Nelson up there in the top 10, it is his first time there and it proves it is a team effort.

And when asked if the ‘strategy’ involved Alonso running light, Symonds said: “Well, I don’t think it would be any secret to say Fernando and Nelson are not on the same strategy.”

Symonds says the team decided to send Alonso out with the more aggressive strategy due to the Spaniard’s greater experience.

“It is a question of how each driver can use it [the strategy],” he said.

“We really have improved the car, we have made the car a lot nicer to drive, a lot more competitive, as you have seen right through the weekend I think.

“Nelson still needs to learn, he still needs to get the races under his belt and it is probably not the best thing to be very aggressive with it.” ITV-F1

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