Valencia day one - Alonso leads Hulkenberg 22 Jan 2008
Renault and Williams were the only teams in action on Monday in Valencia as this weeks test session got underway. Both squads gave their 2008 challengers their first run at the Spanish track, but it was Fernando Alonso in the French teams new car who stole the show, clocking a best time of 1m 13.027s.
After the early morning fog cleared, Alonso was able to complete 39 laps in the R28, which will be officially unveiled to the press later this month. The Spaniard spent the opening day running through basic checks before he tests again on Tuesday.
When you have your first day with a new car, you always have to take your time to check that all the systems are functioning correctly, and that is what we did today, said the former world champion. Everything went well, but it is still too early to try and compare our performance with that of other teams, and that was not the objective today. The good news is that we encountered few problems, and we will be able to continue our work tomorrow.
Renaults technical director Bob Bell was equally pleased with the R28s first day on track. Today has been very successful, Bell added. We completed just under 40 laps and the car ran pretty much trouble-free - that is about as good a first day as you can expect with a new car. We would have completed our first run pretty much on time if it had not been for the weather, and I think thats a real tribute to the whole factory and all the hard work that has been put in to get this car here today.
Around 1.5 seconds down on Alonso was Nico Hulkenberg for Williams. The young tester, who was charged with giving the new FW30 its first shakedown run, carried out 20 laps over the day. With its installation laps complete, the new car will be handed over to Williams race driver Nico Rosberg on Tuesday, when the majority of other teams are expected to join the test.
Unofficial Monday times from Valencia:
1. Fernando Alonso, Renault, 1:13.027
2. Nico Hulkenberg, Williams, 1:14.599