Double DNF for Renault in Japan

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Japan, Circuit Suzukajp

It was a disappointing race for Renault as neither of its drivers made it to the finish during the Japanese GP at Suzuka. Vitaly Petrov was eliminated during a starting incident while Robert Kubica lost a rear wheel on lap 3 of the race.

Robert Kubica, DNF:
Qualified P4 (started P3) 1:31.231
Started race on option

"We made a good start and managed to gain one position up to P2, but then in the second lap behind the safety car I was warming up the tyres and I nearly lost the car. I thought to begin with it was a problem with the driveshaft, but apparently it was the wheel. I don’t know if there was a technical problem but it became difficult to follow the safety car so I moved to the side of the track and then I Iost the wheel."

Vitaly Petrov, DNF:
Qualified P13, 1:32.422
Started race on option

"I made a good start and managed to overtake Massa. I was then going passed Hulkenberg with Heidfeld on my right when he started to move left and so I also had to move left to avoid him. Unfortunately I hit the side of Hulkenberg’s car and this is why I crashed."

Eric Boullier, Team Principal:
"After such a strong performance this morning during qualifying, it’s very frustrating to come away from this race empty-handed. Our car has been competitive throughout the weekend and we were looking forward to showing that in the race. Both cars made good starts off the line, but then we had the double disappointment with both cars out of the race after just three laps. We don’t know exactly what happened with Robert, but it’s a real shame for him because he has been exceptional all weekend and I’m sure we could have had a strong result today. All we can do now is regroup and look forward to the next race in Korea, which will be at new experience for everybody."

Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer:
"It was an extremely disappointing race for us and for Robert retire from second place so early on is a real shame. At the moment we don’t know what happened to Robert’s car. We suspect some sort of mechanical failure, but we will conduct a full investigation to find out. Vitaly’s race was even shorter, although he made a good start initially before he connected with Hulkenberg on the run to the first corner when Vitaly moved left to avoid Heidfeld. It’s frustrating because we had a good chance to score good points with both cars today."

Rémi Taffin, Head of Engine Operations:
"This was a very disappointing day for us. Robert had an excellent qualifying this morning and was up to P2 in the race so I think we could have fought easily for the podium. I’m also sure that Vitaly could have had a strong race after his great start, but unfortunately his raced ended early. The short races for both cars saw no problems with the engines and we will reuse them at the next race in Korea where we hope to come away with a better result."