Renault had a disappointing finish to the Grand Prix Weekend with Nelson Piquet struggling home in 16th place after a number of incidents. After a strong Saturday, the weather prevented Fernando Alonso from finishing strongly. A late spin, denting any hopes of the Spaniard scoring points.
Despite this, the team remain optimistic that they can make steps forward in Bahrain and Barcelona.
Fernando Alonso – 9th: “It’s a disappointing end to a weekend where we showed a lot of potential. The team have done a great job to improve the car, which was very competitive, especially yesterday when we qualified on the front row. However, today we were unlucky and I think it’s one of those days when you take decisions at the wrong moment and everything seems to turn against you. We thought that the safety car would be out for the next 10 or 15 laps so we came in to get fuel and at the same time the safety car came in so we found ourselves starting the race last. We were on the first row on the grid and all of a sudden we were last so this was the end of our race. Bahrain will be another big test and then we have Barcelona so we need to keep improving.”
Nelson Piquet – 16th: “The conditions were so difficult today with really poor visibility and aquaplaning so just keeping the car on the track wasn’t easy. I had a few moments during the race, but managed to keep the car going, although I lost a lot of time and dropped to the back of the pack. So it was a disappointing weekend, but I’m now looking forward to Bahrain where hopefully we will have a dry race and some developments on the car.”
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: “This was not a normal race and it’s a pity that we couldn’t really see the potential of the car. The conditions were difficult and everyone seemed to struggle, except for the top three. Fernando has shown with his qualifying performance that the car is improving, but unfortunately we were penalised by the bad weather. The car is getting better and more competitive, and by Bahrain we will have new parts on both cars. Already this week we have seen a great effort by the team both here and back at the factory to get the new improvements on Fernando’s car this weekend. The championship is long and I’m confident that from Bahrain things will get better for us.”
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: “It is a disappointing result today. We took an aggressive strategy expecting the rain to start later in the afternoon. The early start of the rain compromised us and the safety car start even more so. We didn’t make best use of what was available to us today.”
Remi Taffin, Head of Engine Operations: “We have not finished the race where we wanted to based on the performance we showed yesterday. With rain you can never be sure what will happen, but those who were fast yesterday were the fastest today. I feel we deserved to finish fifth at least. It isn’t a good result but we will take what we have learned to be stronger at next week’s race.”