Disappointing qualifying after competitive FP3 for Renault

By on
F1 Grand Prix, GP South Korea, Korean International Circuitkr

It was a day of mixed fortunes for the Renault F1 Team. After ending the third free practice on top of the time sheets, Robert Kubica had to fight really hard during the qualifying session to make it to the top 10. The Pole will start from 8th position tomorrow. Team mate Petrov, who received a 5-place grid penalty after last race, qualified 15th.

Robert Kubica, R30-03, P8, 1:36.824
"The car had more oversteer than during free practice and I wasn’t completely comfortable. If we had got everything perfect, we could probably have been a couple of tenths quicker, but we’re right on the limit here. Unfortunately, starting eighth also means that I will start from the dirty side of the grid. This morning, in the dry, there was a huge difference between the two sides, but if it rains tomorrow perhaps it won’t be such a disadvantage. It’s not going to be an easy race, because everybody is very close together in terms of performance, but I will try to do my best tomorrow afternoon."

Vitaly Petrov, R30-04, P15, 1:37.799
"I was hoping to get into the top 10 today, to minimise the effect of the grid penalty, and it looked reasonable after Q1. During the second part of qualifying, I made a mistake by pushing too hard, touched the kerb and spun. The tyres were then so dirty that I couldn’t set a proper competitive lap time afterwards. It’s a pity, but I must now focus on the race, and take every opportunity that comes to me."

Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "We looked competitive during every practice session, so it is clearly disappointing that we were unable to repeat that level of performance in qualifying. However, we must now focus on the race. We know that our car is quick on the straights and we hope it will be competitive in race trim. We can look forward to aggressive performances from both drivers, and our goal will be to make up as many positions as possible tomorrow afternoon."

Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "After our performances in practice yesterday and this morning, we cannot be happy with eighth and 15th places in qualifying. Robert was complaining of more oversteer than this morning, when he had been pretty happy with the car, so we need to look at the data and understand what happened. As for Vitaly, he had a difficult session and will also incur the five-place grid penalty from Suzuka. We will need to be creative tomorrow if we wish to get both cars into the points."

Robert Kubica, R30-05, P1, 1:37.354, 15 laps
Vitaly Petrov, R30-04, P11, 1:38.668, 14 laps