Having shown competitively all weekend, Fernando and Nelson lined up in 3rd and 9th places on the grid. An eventful start saw Fernando lose ground, but Nelson gained a place and enjoyed an exciting battle with the McLarens in the early stages of the race.
As the race developed, both drivers adopted two stop strategies, with Nelson able to run a longer first stint than his teammate. That allowed both men to race competitively in the points paying positions for the whole afternoon, with Fernando and Nelson emerging from their second stops in 7th and 8th places. Those positions were then reversed as a rain shower hit the circuit in the closing stages, which made for an exciting end to the race as Nelson scored his first points in Formula 1.
Having taken its first double points finish of the season, the team will look to carry its momentum into next week’s test at Silverstone to be well prepared for the British Grand Prix in two weeks time.
Fernando Alonso, P8: "I have to be disappointed today. I am sure we could have fought for the podium, but I lost too many positions at the start, and after that I was not able to find the pace I had shown yesterday. The car was fast in a straight line, but I still couldn’t make any progress. I scored a point, but I’m determined to do better for the British Grand Prix."
Nelson Piquet, P7: "It’s the first time that everything has gone without any problems for me. The car and the team’s strategy worked well and I was able to score my first couple of points today. I am happy and I hope that we can continue like this for the rest of the season."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director ING Renault F1 Team: "We had other hopes for today, but we are happy nonetheless to see our two cars finish in the points. Fernando lost some positions at the start and we were not able to come back from that. Nelson had a remarkable race, very consistent and aggressive, and I am very pleased to see him score his first points today."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "Both cars in the points, but we still feel a little bit disappointed. We took a risky strategy with Fernando, but had to alter it after the start and so it was far from ideal. It’s clear that we still need to find more speed in the car, but we are pleased with Nelson’s first points finish."