Fernando Alonso produced a strong drive to record Renault’s first podium finish of the season, after a difficult period for the Enstone team.
The Spaniard was third in his R29 and capitalised on other’s misfortune to step onto the podium.
Romain Grosjean retired early in the sister Renault as brake issues scuppered the French-Swiss driver’s challenge.
Fernando Alonso – 3rd: “This was a great result for the team allowing us to be positive and put behind us the past few weeks. I had a good start and great pace throughout the race and third place came as a result of a good strategy and a solid race. Everyone at Enstone, Viry and here at the circuit has done a great job and this has paid off today. Now we go to Suzuka in high spirits.”
Romain Grosjea – DNF: “It was a disappointing weekend for me. The car just wasn’t right and we had recurring brake problems which we hoped we had solved before the race. I had a good start and a good first lap when I felt my brakes failing and so the team asked me to retire. It’s too bad because I was comfortable and enjoying this track and racing at night. Now we will have to work hard and get the car back in order for Japan next week.”
Bob Bell, Team Principal: “Today was absolutely fantastic. It’s wonderful to get a podium at any time but to get one after what the team has just been through is really positive and gives us great strength to move on now. Unfortunately Romain had more brake problems which put him out of the race early on. It’s clear he has a lot of potential for the future and he just needs to move on from this race and make sure he completes a solid race in Japan. Everybody in the team will now go to the final three races very buoyed by this result because it shows that the team can fight for the podium.”
Jean-FranÃ§ois Caubet, Managing Director: “To end the weekend with a podium is a great result. When we arrived here on Wednesday we did not think it was achievable, but little-by-little we have made it possible. In the end the race team put together a strategy that worked very well today. It’s great to get a podium here and it’s extremely important for Renault, for our partner TOTAL and for our sponsors, and for Renault F1 Team. We showed that Renault F1 has what it takes to fight at the front.”
Remi Taffin, Head of Engine Operations: “The engines have run perfectly this weekend. We were using the same engines we ran in Spa and Monza so it was their third race and they have delivered once again. The only issue we had was a small alert in the race, but we managed it and it had no consequence on the result of the race. To finish on the podium here isn’t easy because it’s an unforgiving circuit where you cannot afford to make any mistakes. Today we showed that the whole team is focussed and it’s a super result for us.”