Lotus F1 Team’s Kimi Raikkonen drove a measured race in today’s Spanish Grand Prix to finish in second position behind race winner Fernando Alonso. The result is the Renault-powered driver’s fourth podium in five races and his third consecutive podium visit, which closes the gap to the top of the drivers’ title to just four points. Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel passed the flag in fourth, while team-mate Mark Webber came home fifth.
Williams F1 Team’s Pastor Maldonado was classified in 14th having lost some time with a drivethrough penalty for exceeding the pitlane speed limit. Valtteri Bottas claimed 16th. Caterham F1 Team consolidated its improving form, with Charles Pic finishing ahead of both Marussia cars and within striking distance of the Williams of Bottas. The young Frenchman finished 17th.
There were two retirements amongst the Renault-powered cars; Romain Grosjean stopped on lap eight with a broken rear suspension, while Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde retired on lap 21 when his left rear wheel came loose.
The result consolidates Red Bull’s lead in the constructors’ championship, with 131 points to Ferrari’s 117. Lotus sits just behind with 111. In the drivers’ race, Vettel leads with 89 points, four clear of Raikkonen.
Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations
A very positive result for Renault today: a Renault powered car has been on the podium every race so far this year and two of our teams are now fighting for the lead of both championships. Kimi drove a great race today to split the Ferraris, while Sebastian and Mark got the most they could out of the situation. Caterham has also moved forward, with Charles ahead of the Marussias and mixing it with some of the more established teams ahead.
Working hand in hand with the teams is more important than ever this year as tyres and tyre strategy have unfortunately become one of the most important elements of the racing action. There are some key areas we can help with as engine stability and torque response can square up the car. Deciding on engine mixes also becomes a tactical challenge: you don’t want to put too much fuel in at the start to weigh the car down and increase the wear, but equally you want enough left in the tank to push at the end of the race when positions can be made up. It’s something we work very hard with the teams on as it can make a real difference to track position and therefore opportunities – and we are still learning a lot in this area.
We move on now to Monaco, which is a very different track, but one that plays to the strengths of the Renault engine. The slow speed corners require good driveability and engine response and these are definitely some of the advantages of the RS27. Red Bull has a good track record there, with wins in the last three years and some of Renault’s best finishes have been achieved on the track. It’s something we are looking forward to as we believe we can get some good results for all our partners.
Renault Sport F1