Renault confident to score points again

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Spain, Circuit de Catalunyaes

The Renault F1 Team is reasonably happy with how the qualifying session for the Spanish Grand Prix turned out. Robert Kubica placed his car in 7th position, team mate Vitaly Petrov, who suffered an accident in the morning and had his gearbox changed, qualified in 14th position but will lose 5 places due to a grid penalty.

Robert Kubica, R30-03, P7, 1:21.353
"Overall it was a good qualifying session for me. Seventh is a strong place to start and I think I got the maximum from the car. We don’t have a big package of updates for this race so it’s encouraging to be ahead of one Ferrari and one Mercedes, which is not what I was expecting. I know that it will be a tough race tomorrow and it will be interesting to see how the soft tyres cope with the heavy fuel load in the opening laps. I think our race pace will be similar to our qualifying pace so I’m hopeful of a strong race and scoring some good points tomorrow."

Vitaly Petrov, R30-02, P14 (starts P19) 1:22.139
"It was a very close session today and I only missed out on Q3 by three tenths, which shows that we have improved again this weekend - both myself and the team. To begin with it wasn’t certain that I would make qualifying after my accident this morning when I ran wide onto the kerb and hit some standing water on the approach to turn four. So I have to say a big thank you to my mechanics because they did an excellent job to repair the car in time. I know the race tomorrow will be difficult because it’s not easy to overtake here, but anything can happen in the race and I will try my best to move forward."

Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "Robert did an excellent job to qualify in seventh and if somebody had told us before the weekend that we would qualify ahead of a Ferrari and a Mercedes, we would have been very happy. Obviously our expectations are changing with every race and we are now aiming even higher up the grid compared to the start of the season. Vitaly was unlucky to get caught out with his accident this morning, which affected this preparation for qualifying. Even so he only missed out on Q3 by three tenths and without losing the track time I’m sure he could have made it into the top ten. So it’s encouraging to know that both cars have the potential to make it into Q3. Again I want to say a big thanks to the team for their hard work to get Vitaly’s car ready in time for the start of Q1."

Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "A lot of the teams have brought updates to this race, but overall our relative position remains similar to the first four races. Robert is in seventh, ahead of one of the Mercedes, which is good to see because we thought they might move away from us this weekend. Vitaly had an accident in final practice this morning, but the crew put in a tremendous effort to get the car ready for the start of qualifying and Vitaly was very close on pace with cars around him in Q2. For the race tomorrow we don’t have any particular concerns with the car in terms of tyres or brake wear, so we’re looking forward to a strong performance and hopefully scoring another good haul of points."