Renault enjoy strong qualifying performance

Robert Kubica says that he is happy with his sixth place gridslot for tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix, as Renault recorded its best qualifying effort of the season.

The Pole continued to build on the form shown in Australian and was able to cope with the wet conditions to shine once more. Furthermore the 25-year-old believes that he might well have qualified higher if he had judged the track conditions better and had not pushed so hard on his first timed lap in Q3.

Vitaly Petrov also produced a strong showing for the Enstone-based team, with the Russian-rookie just missing out on a place in the top-ten shootout in eleventh.

Robert Kubica – 6th: “Today’s weather made for quite a challenging qualifying session, but the car felt good in the wet and I made it easily through Q1 and Q2. For the final part of qualifying we thought the rain would get heavier so I pushed really hard on my first timed lap in Q3, which destroyed the tyres and made it difficult to improve as the track continued to dry. However, sixth place is a good place to start and I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow. I think the weather could play a big role, and if it’s like today the race could become a lottery.”

Vitaly Petrov – 11th: “It was difficult to predict the weather today, so we decided to go out as early as possible, which was the right decision because the rain kept getting heavier in Q1. In Q2 the car felt good on the intermediates and I pushed hard throughout the session, but I just missed out on Q3, which is a shame. Still, 11th is a good place to start and if we get more rain tomorrow, anything could happen. I will be aiming to finish the race and hopefully score some points.”

Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “With the changeable weather today it was a difficult session to call with lots of possible strategies going through our minds. Overall the team made the right decisions with the tyres for both cars and the drivers did a great job. For the race tomorrow the forecast suggests we can expect some more rain so it’s good to be starting towards the front of the grid. This is our best qualifying performance as a team this year and I think we have a good opportunity to get both cars in the points tomorrow.”

Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: “Today’s session was great fun from the pit wall and I’m pleased that we got the tyre choice right for both Robert and Vitaly in the first two sessions. Robert made it easily through to Q3, but Vitaly just missed out, which is a shame because he has been quick today. With quite a mixed up grid for tomorrow, we should be in for an interesting race and I think we are well placed to score some good points. The weather could play its part again, but as we have seen today our car works well in the wet and the dry, and the team has reacted well to the conditions. We’re probably a bit more competitive in the wet, but I don’t mind if it’s wet or dry.”