Roll With It - Chinese GP, Sunday 17 April
Vitaly scored another couple of points as he finished P9 at the Shanghai International Circuit, while teammate Nick came home in P12.
• Both Vitaly and Nick ran two-stop strategies. • Vitaly started on softs, took another set of softs on lap 17, and switched to hards on lap 37 • Nick also started on softs, took more softs on lap 18, then finally ran the hards from lap 30
Vitaly Petrov, P9, R31-01
“To be P9 and take two points for the team is still good, given that we did not qualify in high positions. However, we are still a bit disappointed that we did not challenge higher up the order and gain even more points. The strategy was OK, but we must now see where we can improve. We will analyse the data and see what went wrong, and we will try to repeat the results we had in Australia and Malaysia when we reach Turkey.”
Nick Heidfeld, P12, R31-04
“I’m not happy with where I finished, even though I started P16. The start was very poor, but I went aggressive into the first corner and made up a few places. After a few laps I started having problems with the KERS and couldn’t use the full power all the time, which made overtaking and defending quite difficult. I think our pace in the second stint on the soft tyre was not too bad, but it was still hard to attack the cars ahead of me. That’s why we made an early stop for hard tyres in the hope that we could get some clean air and jump the cars ahead of me. Unfortunately Perez and Sutil stopped on the same lap, and it meant I couldn’t really show our pace in the final stint.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal and Managing Director
Overtaking was not as easy as we thought it would be, even with the DRS
“Starting where we did, it was always going to be difficult to repeat the results we have had already this season. In the end, it turned out to be quite a frustrating afternoon for us and we didn’t really make the progress we expected in the race. Part of the reason was that overtaking was not as easy as we thought it would be, even with the DRS. Also, we need to review our strategy because it wasn’t easy to make the calls today and it’s clear you need to switch tyres at exactly the right moment. Still, it’s good to pick up more points with Vitaly and we now have three weeks to regroup before Turkey to make sure we can be fighting closer to the front.”
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer
Ultimately we struggled for pace and both drivers found it quite difficult to overtake
“It was a tricky day for us, which wasn’t helped by our poor qualifying yesterday, but ultimately we struggled for pace and both drivers found it quite difficult to overtake. Vitaly didn’t make a great start and he was stuck in traffic during his first stint. At that point we were thinking about whether to do two or three stops, but when he finally found some clean air his pace looked reasonable and we decided it was best to do two stops. However, he struggled for pace on the soft tyres during his middle stint. As for Nick, we chose to run the same tyre strategy as Vitaly, but he struggled with KERS overheating problems, which meant the system could only be used intermittently and made it even more difficult for him to come through the field.”
Ricardo Penteado, LRGP Engine Support Leader, Renault Sport F1
“A long and hard race for the team, with battles on every lap for both drivers – including the last one! We can be pleased to be in the top ten after the difficulties yesterday. Vitaly and Nick gave it everything and both finished up on their starting positions, with Vitaly taking some more valuable points in 9th. Temperatures were significantly higher than yesterday but the R31-RS27 chassis-engine package performed well, although we know that we are capable of finishing higher than 9th and 12th.”
• Did you know?
The R31 had the fastest straightline speed this afternoon with Nick clocking 322.6 km/h and Vitaly 322.5 km/h.
Source: Lotus Renault