Renault Sport F1 finished the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship season as it began; with victory as Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber was powered to his first win of the season by the RS27 engine. Mark’s victory is the 12th of the season from 19 races for the Red Bull Racing-Renault partnership. Sebastian Vettel finished in second position to give a perfect 1-2 result to end the season. Lotus Renault GP’s Vitaly Petrov claimed 10th position and one point to consolidate the team’s fifth place in the constructors’ championship, while Bruno Senna finished in 17th.
Team Lotus achieved its aim of tenth in the constructors’ with a strong race from Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli, who finished in 16th and 18th respectively. Over the season, the RS27 has powered RSF1’s chassis partners, Red Bull Racing, Lotus Renault GP and Team Lotus to a total of 12 wins, 18 poles and 723 points.
KEY RACE WEEKEND POINTS:
Red Bull Racing
Mark Webber secured his first victory of the year by a margin of 16.9secs over team-mate Sebastian Vettel. The Australian had a good start off the line and was sitting behind the world champion, but within 14 laps Seb’s RB7 developed a gearbox problem. After the first round of stops, Mark was able to pass Sebastian for the lead and pull out a 10 second advantage. After a further two stops, Mark took the chequered flag in Brazil for the second time with Sebastian holding on to second despite a late push from Jenson Button in the closing laps. Mark’s 25 points secured third position in the drivers’ championship by one point over Fernando Alonso.
Lotus Renault GP
A strong qualifying saw Bruno Senna start from ninth position, his best qualifying slot since the Japanese Grand Prix. He was not able to capitalise on the position however when contact with Michael Schumacher on lap 13 put him back down the field. The Brazilian was deemed to be responsible for the incident by the stewards and served a drivethrough penalty. He crossed the line in 17th after a gearbox problem also materialised. Vitaly Petrov started from 15th on the grid and used a three stop strategy to gain five positions to finish in tenth overall.
Another strong race for the Anglo-Malaysian squad, with Heikki Kovalainen finishing in 16th and Jarno Trulli 18th to consolidate its 10th position in the championship. Heikki again had a lightening start to race in the midfield, and was racing yet again with the Williams and the LRGP of Senna for position. A three stop strategy kept him ahead of the ‘new teams’, and ahead of Bruno Senna. Jarno Trulli gained two positions on his starting slot with a double stop strategy.
Rémi Taffin, head of Renault Sport F1 track operations, gives his views on the race weekend:
After an incredibly long season it’s fantastic to end on a high. We’d like to thank all our partners for the commitment and results this year, which overall have been excellent, with 12 wins and over 700 points across Red Bull Racing, Lotus Renault GP and Team Lotus, which completely validates the changes we made to our structure over the winter.
Renault Sport F1 has gone from being a team owner to an engine supplier
This year Renault Sport F1 has gone from being a team owner to an engine supplier, from supplying two to three teams so it’s been a massive challenge to ensure the same consistency of performance, reliability and high service throughout the year. Therefore we’re delighted with the results of today and how each of our partners has achieved their respective aims. For Red Bull Racing it was about maximising points, for LRGP sealing fifth and a strong finish after a difficult second half of the year and Team Lotus to get that crucial tenth position in the constructors’.
We’d like to offer our congratulations to all three teams and look forward to a productive winter. There are more challenges to come, with the work on Williams being stepped up now the season has concluded, and ensuring that we achieve zero faults and even greater reliability and performance next year.
I’d also like to say a huge thanks to the team back at Viry as they contributed so much to the performance of our teams on track. Race support is one of the core strengths of Renault Sport F1 and the results of this year yet again highlight this."