Fernando Alonso took advantage of Renault’s newly fitted Diffuser to snatch an unexpected 2nd place in Qualifying. The same could not be said for Nelson Piquet who, without the new Diffuser, managed a disappointing 17th.
Fernando Alonso – 2nd: “The car was quick this morning in P3, but we only had three laps to test the new parts we’d fitted to the car. This afternoon achieving the front row of the grid is a great motivation for the team. It is unbelievable and the first time that I’ve seen such an incredible effort. The team has been working 24 hours a day for the past few weeks to produce these parts and today it was time to deliver.
“So a big thanks to Enstone and to the engineers and mechanics here who didn’t sleep much last night to get the car ready. Also, three Renault engines are in the top three so a big thanks to the engine team in Viry. We can be happy with today’s result and we’re looking forward to the race tomorrow and hopefully scoring some points.”
Nelson Piquet – 17th: “Obviously I didn’t have the new parts that Fernando had, but it’s still disappointing not to make it into Q2 as the car was working well this morning and we had made some improvements overnight. I know it will be a tough race tomorrow, but hopefully we can make the strategy work so that I can move forward in the race.”
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: “Fernando’s front row position is a tribute to the hard work from everyone back at the factory to get the new diffuser on the car following the result of our appeal earlier in the week. It’s working as expected although we had some problems on the bodywork this morning as it burnt slightly, but once again the technicians here did a great job to get it fixed. Now we must get the same equipment for Nelson and give him the chance to move up the grid.”