It may not have been his greatest result of the year, but given the handling problems that Renault have been having at Hungary, particularly on the softer tyre compounds Fernando Alonso’s fourth place was an impressive performance – one which exceeded his pre-race expectations.
Nelson Piquet brought the sister R28 home firmly in the points giving the Enstone-based outfit further cause to celebrate.
“It’s a great result for the team and probably our best race of the year,” said Symonds. “Both cars had to race hard and we had to think our way carefully through to the end of the race. The results and points achieved today are a good reward for lots of hard work in the team and at the factories.”
Alonso was locked in a fierce battle with Kimi Raikkonen throughout most of the race, doing well to keep the world champion at bay. But in the final round of pit-stops the Finn got the jump on the Spaniard and the two drivers trailed home in third and fourth, benefiting from the retirements of Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa.
“We fought hard today and we were on the pace with a car that was working well, which is encouraging for the rest of the championship,” said Alonso.
“We scored some important points which is satisfying, even though we could have maybe been on the podium. We must now continue working hard, but today’s result shows that we are moving in the right direction.”
Nelson Piquet, who relished driving at the Hungaroring during his GP2 days, rounded out a good result for Renault, bringing the sister R28 home in the points in seventh.
“I am happy with my result this weekend. I scored some valuable points which is promising for the rest of the season.”
“I made a good start, but unfortunately I made a small mistake on the first lap, which meant that I lost the two positions that I had made up. It shows that at this level you cannot afford to make the smallest error.”
“I am continuing to learn and I am determined to continue building on this progress when we go to Valencia at the end of the month.”
Flavio Briatore was encouraged by the all round performance of the R28 after the team struggled in qualifying on the softer tyre options.
“Today’s result is a solid and encouraging one for the whole team,” said Briatore. “Our two drivers did a great job and we are now ready to continue pushing hard in the second half of the season to finish in fourth place in the constructors’ championship.”