Renault didn't have the greatest of race weekend so far, and today's qualifying session wasn't any better. While Robert Kubica is reasonably happy with the result, Vitaly Petrov had excuses to make for his mistake that cost him a chance to go through to Q3.
Robert Kubica, R30-05, P8, 1:46.593:
"I think we need to stay realistic at this stage of the season because the top three teams are still pushing very hard to develop their cars, while we only brought a small upgrade here. Mercedes and Williams have also been at a very similar pace to us for several races, so we knew we would be fighting in the second half of the top ten today and that meant it was difficult to achieve much more than P8. The car is lacking overall grip, and sliding front and rear, but I was quite happy with my lap. Our timing meant we only did one timed lap in Q3, so it was all or nothing, and I think I got nearly all the potential out of the car."
Vitaly Petrov, R30-04, P13, 1:48.165:
"Looking at the times, it would have been possible for me to get into Q3 today, but I made a mistake on my first run in Q2. I had gone through Q1 on the prime tyres, and was pushing hard on the options when I went too deep on braking for turn five, lost control of the car and hit the wall with the right rear wheel. The corner was still damp from the rain this afternoon, like it has been most of the weekend, and it just caught me out: it was my mistake. I know that it’s going to be a tough race tomorrow, especially because overtaking is so difficult here in Singapore."
Eric Boullier, Team Principal:
"We endured a frustrating qualifying session this evening. With Robert, our approach to Q3 was too conservative. We didn’t feel that there was time to do two runs, which meant everything rested on a single timed lap, and that certainly cost him some lap time – although we cannot hide from the fact that our package does not seem ideally suited to this circuit. Vitaly had done a good job this morning to recover from a tricky first day of practice, and it was a shame to see him hit the wall because he had a realistic chance of sneaking into the top ten."
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer:
Ultimately, our car didn’t have the pace to deliver the results we had hoped for in qualifying. Robert once again delivered a mistake-free qualifying session that took the car to its maximum, and did an excellent job. It was a shame to see Vitaly make a mistake when he was pushing hard in Q2. He experienced a tough time yesterday, but had improved a lot in third practice and was looking stronger. We know it’s a long race tomorrow so we will have to make the most of every opportunity that presents itself.