The ING Renault F1 Team reached the halfway point of the 2007 season with a double points finish for Heikki Kovalainen and Giancarlo Fisichella, in seventh and eighth positions respectively. The drivers started from the same positions, and ran...
The ING Renault F1 Team reached the halfway point of the 2007 season with a double points finish for Heikki Kovalainen and Giancarlo Fisichella, in seventh and eighth positions respectively.
The drivers started from the same positions, and ran aggressive two-stop strategies. However, Heikki and Giancarlo struggled with tyre performance at different points of the race, costing them time relative to the team's rivals in the constructors' championship, BMW. However, this was just the second time in the 2007 season that both Renault drivers had finished in the points, and the basic pace of the R27 confirmed the improvements that have been made to the car in recent weeks.
With further developments due to come on-stream at the forthcoming races, the team is optimistic that it will be able to close the gap to BMW in terms of race pace -- and begin reducing the 25 point gap that now separates the two teams in the championship.
Heikki Kovalainen, 7th position:
"This was a race of two halves for me. I had a good start and managed to get past Ralf, which meant I was running P5 after Massa stalled on the grid. Quite quickly, though, the rear tyre performance began to drop and I was really struggling with the car, especially in the slow speed sections. I used hard tyres for the second stint too, and the same thing happened."
"It was only really in the final stint, when I got onto the soft compound, that the car felt better and more consistent on a long run -- and strangely, it seemed to be the opposite for Giancarlo. To finish P7 is not where the team wants to be, but there is no magic recipe for going forward from here. We need to sit down, analyse what went wrong, eliminate the problems -- and carry on improving the car. It's what we have done very well so far, and I know the team will carry on pushing, beginning with this week's test in Spa."
Giancarlo Fisichella, 8th position:
"I had a tough race this afternoon. I got Ralf at the start, but Nick passed me in the first corner. However, I managed to get a good run on him through Becketts, and overtook him on the run to Stowe. The first stint was pretty good, and the second one too, when I was using the hard tyres. Then we stopped for the final time and put on the soft tyres -- and the car felt like it had much less grip. It was very inconsistent, hard to drive, it was almost like I had a problem with the car."
"The situation was very unusual, but I was not under threat for my position, so I could just bring it home. It's another point for me, but we have lost ground to BMW the last two weekends. Everybody is working very hard to turn that situation around, hopefully starting with the next race in Germany.
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director:
"This is where we are at the moment. The championship shows we are in fourth position and today, on a circuit that really tests the cars, we were fourth quickest team. Now we have to get back to work in the factory, and on the test track, to make another step forward. The team has shown the ability to overcome its problems, and stay motivated during that difficult time. The second half of the season will be the time for us to accelerate our development, to try and catch up our rivals."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"We cannot be satisfied with the results of this race. The last two weekends have shown that if we are to fight with BMW, we need a significant improvement in our race pace. It appeared today that our relative performance varied according to the type of tyre we fitted, although not in the same way on both cars."
"In spite of this, we continue to show progress in our performance. Silverstone is an extremely demanding circuit for the cars from an aerodynamic perspective, and there is no doubt that only a few weeks ago, it would have been hard to get in the points. Now, it is time for us to take another step forward.