The Renault RS27 engine powered Red Bull Racing to a 1-2 result in the Turkish Grand Prix held at the Istanbul Park Circuit. Sebastian Vettel dominated the race from pole position while Mark Webber took second seven laps from the end of the race with a bold overtaking manoeuvre on Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. Mark also set the fastest lap of the race.
Lotus Renault GP finished in seventh and eighth with Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov respectively, giving the RS27 four of the top 10 positions and a total of 53 points from this race. Team Lotus achieved their second consecutive double finish; Jarno Trulli claiming 18th and Heikki Kovalainen 19th.
With all six cars taking the chequered flag, the RS27 therefore achieved a perfect finishing record and now has 190 points in total from the season. The win is the 133rd for a Renault engine in F1.
Key race weekend points
Red Bull Racing
A difficult start for the team with Sebastian aquaplaning off the track in the heavy rain in the opening free practice session and picking up heavy damage to the RB7. The extensive repairs continued throughout the second afternoon practice, which the German world champion watched from the sidelines. Mark completed just five laps in the morning and 31 in the afternoon, giving a very low overall mileage for the RS27 over the day – just 215km over the two cars.
After a scheduled overnight engine change on both cars to the blocks used in the Chinese Grand Prix three weeks ago the RS27 powered Sebastian to pole position, which he confidently took with a time of 1:25.049 after just one run in Q3 – even getting out of the car with time remaining in the session – the fourth consecutive pole for the team. Mark gave Red Bull Racing-Renault a front row lock-out with second position. Sebastian dominated the 58 lap race, finishing 8.8secs ahead of his team-mate, marking the 18th win for the Red Bull-Renault partnership and its first 1-2 finish of the year. Mark’s points move him into third position in the championship, just four points behind Lewis Hamilton, while Sebastian extends his lead by a further 13 points.
Lotus Renault GP
A positive weekend for the team, with a further 10 points to consolidate its fourth position in the constructors’ championship. After a challenging weekend in China, the team at Viry and Enstone worked hard to create solutions and the team was able to complete 488km over Friday practice. Both cars progressed through to Q3 in Saturday’s qualifying session, with Vitaly taking seventh position – his fourth top ten start of the year – and Nick ninth. The team planned an aggressive race strategy to move up the field and Nick was just one second from Jenson Button in sixth at the end of the race. Vitaly had lights-to-flag action, and took eighth from Sebastian Buemi on the final lap.
Team Lotus continued its progress towards the midfield with a strong performance over the weekend. Karun Chandhok took over from Heikki in FP1, but the wet weather meant that he and Jarno completed just six laps each. The drier afternoon session gave opportunity for an increased programme and over the day the team completed 473km before a scheduled engine change overnight back to the Chinese engines. Saturday saw the team finish within half a second of the Williams in Q1 with Heikki 18th and Jarno 19th, despite the Italian having troubles with the activation of his DRS. In the race both made three pit stops however Heikki’s car developed a hydraulic leak that affected the DRS and the differential and he finished in 19th behind his team-mate. The team however retains ninth in the constructors’ championship.
Rémi Taffin, head of Renault Sport F1 track operations, gives his views on the race weekend:
"A great result again for the Renault Sport F1 team, with all cars making it to the chequered flag, a one-two result and four RS27s finishing in the top 10. In yet another race we’ve scored more points than any other engine supplier, but more importantly, we’re proud that the reliability and performance of the engine has helped our teams make such good progress. It’s also positive that the four cars equipped with KERS were able to use it effectively, which was very important as overtaking or defending on the straights at Istanbul Park is very important.
Yet another race we’ve scored more points than any other engine supplier
Red Bull had another strong weekend to achieve their first 1-2 finish of the season, with Sebastian dominating from pole position. The RBR-Renault partnership has matured into a really tight one and we want to keep this form going.
We worked very closely with Lotus Renault GP to ensure that the engine-related issues we saw in China did not occur again and we were pleased to see that the solutions we put in place prevented another car stoppage and allowed both Vitaly and Nick to get yet more points. We went quite aggressive on the fuel to help Nick overhaul Button for sixth but just lost out in the traffic, however seventh and eighth is still a good result.
Team Lotus continued to edge closer to the midfield and the results do not show how much progress they are making. To qualify within half a second of an established team is really positive for such a young outfit. Over the year we have worked hard to give them optimum driveability and it’s really encouraging to see this now paying off."
Source: Renault Sport