Robert Kubica continued Renault’s strong vein of form as the Pole took fourth place in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Although the Pole admitted that he did not have the pace to challenge for the podium, he was still happy with his performance, as he drove a steady race to the flag.
Meanwhile Vitaly Petrov showed glimpses of brilliance throughout the race, including his resistance to the advances of Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren. However, any hopes of the Russian taking points were dashed when he was forced to retire with a gearbox failure.
Robert Kubica – 4th: “It was another enjoyable race and the car was consistent with good pace all afternoon. The start of the race was really important because I managed to get ahead of Hulkenberg into turn 1, and then I got a good exit out of turn 2, which helped me overtake Sutil. After that I managed to build a good gap to the cars behind me, but we didn’t have the pace to catch Rosberg. Fourth place is a good result and gives us some more important points.”
Vitaly Petrov – DNF: “The first half of the race was great fun and I enjoyed fighting with the cars around me, especially the battle with Hamilton. Then, in the middle of the race, the car just stopped and I think it was a problem with the gearbox. I’m disappointed to retire, but I now have some more experience and I learnt a lot about managing the tyres, which will help me improve for the next race.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “To finish fourth with Robert is another great result for the team. Obviously we benefited from our good qualifying performance yesterday and Robert made a good start to the race. After that he drove very well and the car showed good pace. Vitaly also made progress at the start, drove aggressively in the opening laps, and had a good fight with Hamilton. It’s a real shame he had to retire because I think he could have scored his first points today.”
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: “Robert drove a great race today and was up to fourth on the first lap, which he held until the end of the race. We tried to catch Rosberg, but the Mercedes had pretty similar pace and so we had to settle for fourth. As for Vitaly, he made another good start and drove really well in the opening laps. When we changed him to the prime tyres he struggled for rear grip, but then his race came to an end with the gearbox problem, which we are still investigating.”
Remi Taffin, Head of Engine Operations: “We had a strong race today and have come away with a good result. We were clearly on the same pace as Nico Rosberg, although he managed to stay ahead of us as the strategy unfolded. The two Red Bulls were on another planet today and underlined the overall performance of the Renault engine which has finished in three of the top four places. Our fourth place today confirms our recent progress, but we must continue working hard. I would also like to say well done to all the mechanics, who have done a brilliant job all weekend in tough working conditions.”