Fernando Alonso believes that his retirement from the Belgian Grand Prix, after problems with his left-front tyre, cost Renault its first podium of the season.
The Spaniard was running strongly until his first pitstop when the Renault pit-crew struggled to fit the wheel-spinner onto the left-front of his car.
The issue had originally arisen at the start when Alonso made contact with Adrian Sutil’s Force India.
Teammate Romain Grosjean also had a disappointing race after being eliminated during the first lap accident at Les Combes.
Fernando Alonso – DNF: “Today I missed an opportunity to be on the podium. I had a good start, making up a few positions and the strategy looked good. The car was better than we expected and I was in third position when I came in for my pit stop and it became clear that something was wrong on my left front tyre and the team asked me to retire. We now think it was damaged at the first corner at the beginning of the race. Anyway, Monza is in two weeks and I look forward to making up for the disappointment of today. ”
Romain Grosjean – DNF: “I made a very good start, moving up to thirteenth place and I was keeping a good pace but then Button took me out at turn five and it was the end for me. It’s frustrating because I would have loved to finish the race and learn more about the car on this very special track. Hopefully I can do better in Monza.”
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: “Today we took the decision of retiring Fernando’s car although he was very competitive in the first part of the race. It’s frustrating also that Romain’s race came to an end so quickly. Let’s turn the page and move on and concentrate on Monza in two weeks time.”
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: “Romain’s race was unfortunately very short as he was hit by Button on the first lap, which is a pity because this race would have been a valuable part of his learning experience. Fernando’s race was ultimately ended by damage sustained also on the first lap. This resulted in a problem at the pit stop and for safety reasons we decided to retire the car.”