Renault boss Eric Boullier heaped praise on Vitaly Petrov, as the Russian scored a credible fifth in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Petov made a lightening start to jump the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton, only for tyre temperature problems to force him to yield the position.
Despite this the 25-year-old managed to hold his own and score his strongest result of the year for the Enstone-based team.
Meanwhile, Robert Kubica’s endured a disasterous race, after being colliding with Adrian Sutil in the pit lane.
The Pole was subsequently given a drive-through penalty, and was forced to retire with suspension problems.
Vitaly Petrov – 5th: I feel wonderful because we did everything almost perfect today. I made a good start and managed to pass Rosberg and Hamilton into the first corner, which was our target. After that, I didn’t try and block Lewis too much because I had a problem with my tyre warm-up. I lost a lot of grip and I was fighting the car. I decided to let him through rather than risk losing more positions. The points today are very important for us because Mercedes didn’t score any. Also, I have a lot of friends and family here today so I’m pleased I could give them a good result.
Robert Kubica – DNF: I had managed a pretty good start from the dirty side of the track, but I wasn’t really able to gain any positions. Then I was stuck behind Rosberg for the first stint until the safety car came out and we made the pit stop. That’s when I had the accident with Sutil. I saw the lollipop go up and I started to go but unfortunately we collided, which forced us to retire because of the damage to the front suspension. It would have been nice to have at least finished the race because there are so many Polish fans here and looking at how the race evolved, we could probably have got a good result.
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: We scored a lot of valuable points today, but just as important is the fact that Vitaly has had a superb weekend. He finished the race in fifth, which is obviously an excellent result. It’s even more satisfying because Mercedes didn’t score any points today, so we have made up ten points on them. Obviously we can’t be completely happy because we had the incident in the pit lane, which cost Robert some points as well. Without this I think he could have expected to finish at least sixth, so we could have had both cars in the points. But this is racing and it’s still a satisfying weekend for the team.
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: It was an excellent drive from Vitaly today with good pace and consistency. He made a great start and did well to get ahead of Rosberg, which was our target, and after that he was able to pull away from him comfortably. From then on he drove a faultless race and he can be very satisfied with his performance across the entire weekend. Unfortunately Robert had to retire after the incident at his pit stop. We were concerned about the loads the suspension had seen and whether there was damage, so we decided to stop the car on safety grounds.
Remi Taffin, Head of Engine Operations: Fifth place for Vitaly is a well deserved result after the excellent job he has done all weekend. He had a new engine here and it hasn’t suffered too much so we will reuse it again at the next race in Spa. It was a disappointing race for Robert because his race ended with the collision in the pit lane. We retired the car because of suspected damage and so his engine has not really suffered much from this race either