LRGP struggled for pace in the European Grand Prix with Nick finishing in tenth position and Vitaly taking 15th. Neither driver could really achieve anything more as their finishing positions reflected the lack of performance on the car.
Nick adopted a three-stop strategy: Soft / soft / soft / medium (stops in laps 11, 27 and 40)
Vitaly adopted a three-stop strategy Medium / soft / soft / soft (stops in laps 15, 27 and 39)
Nick Heidfeld, P10, R31-04:
“What cost us a little bit today was our starts. I lost a position to Adrian (Sutil) and then had to fight hard not to lose more. I finished more or less where I had been for the majority of the race (behind Sutil). I managed to overtake him once but then he used DRS to get past me and unfortunately I was not able to attack any harder to get by him. It’s still another point gained for the team, but I did not expect to finish behind one Force India and one Toro Rosso. Overall this weekend, we pushed hard but it just has not been possible to get the pace out of the car that we wanted at this track. We will remain optimistic, though because Silverstone is a track with a lot of high speed corners, and our car performs well in these conditions. We will also see how the new regulations affect our car, but I think it will have a positive impact for our team.”
Vitaly Petrov, P15, R31-05:
“Of course I am disappointed with today’s race. I was very surprised that the tyres did not last very well for us, as some of our competitors were able to do a two-stop race whereas we needed three. We know that our car’s pace was not fantastic here and the race has strongly highlighted that we have work to do because we should finishing easily in the top ten. The incident with Schumacher did not cause a puncture. He seemed to exit the pits very quickly and did not seem to be able to stop his car coming into the first corner. Luckily, I saw him in my mirror but there was still some contact. We need to sit down now and carefully analyse where and why we are losing pace so we can have a better race at Silverstone.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal and Managing Director:
“Given where we qualified, we were looking for a lot more from today’s race. P9 and P11 on the grid is enough to have a really competitive race well into the points. Unfortunately, that did not happen and we were not able to get both cars climbing back up the places enough after a poor start. That said, we did score another point through Nick which keeps us in fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship and ahead of Mercedes GP. We will need to come away from this race understanding why we were not closing down on the cars ahead of us; we know our car is fast and it’s important we look at why we struggled to unlock that pace today.”
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer:
“It was a poor race from both of our cars and we simply didn’t have sufficient pace to do better. We suffered from enough tyre degradation to necessitate a three-stop strategy and there was no way we could have done only two stops. The extra time in the pits meant we were beaten by a car which made two stops and clearly suffered from less tyre degradation than we did."
"Nick lost out to Sutil at the second corner and was unable to recover the position. Vitaly lost four places due to an early upshift at the start and this was detrimental to the rest of his race. We have certainly been struggling on circuits with low speed corners, so we hope that the high speed turns of Silverstone will mark an upturn in performance.”
Riccardo Penteado, LRGP Engine Support Leader, Renault Sport F1:
“A long and tough race for us here and I think everyone would have hoped for some more points considering the starting positions and the potential of the car so far this season. Temperatures were high, as expected, but didn’t pose any issues for us. We were pretty aggressive on the fuel consumption rate at the end of the race as we tried to make up positions but unfortunately Nick wasn’t able to catch Sutil for ninth."
"That point is important though as we stay ahead of Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship. We had a water leak with Vitaly towards the end but we managed to keep it under control and get to the end of the race. It’s been a challenging weekend overall, with the maps between qualifying and the race having to remain the same for the first time. On this point we managed to do a good job to get maximum performance in the race without losing out in qualifying, which a great effort from the trackside and factory team.”