The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a frustrating day in Montreal, as Giancarlo Fisichella retired from the race on lap two with accident damage and his team-mate Jenson Button retired 16 laps later with a suspected oil...
The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a frustrating day in Montreal, as Giancarlo Fisichella retired from the race on lap two with accident damage and his team-mate Jenson Button retired 16 laps later with a suspected oil leak.
Technical Director Mike Gascoyne explained the team's afternoon, saying afterwards:
"I can only say that it was a very disappointing day at a race that has been so favourable to us in the past and a race in which it would have been easy to score points had we finished.
"Giancarlo was involved in an accident at the hairpin on the first lap when Bernoldi didn't accelerate in front of him and that damaged his front wing. At the end of the lap he was planning to stop for a new wing, but due to the damaged front wing compromising his breaking, he unfortunately hit Jenson at the final corner - and that was his race run.
"When Jenson served his ten second stop-go penalty we saw that his rear wing was damaged, so we stopped him again as a precaution to make sure it was safe for him to continue, which it was. He later retired with what we suspect was an oil leak."
Giancarlo Fisichella explained his view of the race, saying:
"On the first lap I was coming out of the hairpin and Bernoldi, who was ahead, appeared to have some kind of engine problem. He slowed as we accelerated and I couldn't avoid hitting him, which damaged my front wing.
"Then, as we were coming into the final corner, I touched Jenson's car, which broke my front right suspension and forced me out of the race. That was a great shame because I have always done very well at this track before."
Jenson Button said afterwards that the start had been incident-packed and "mad":
"My car started to creep a little at the start, despite the clutch being right at the biting point, and that led to me picking up a stop-go penalty for moving too soon.
"Then the first lap was just mad, with absolutely loads of things going on all over the place. It can be great fun when it is like that, but we did not gain many places in the mayhem.
"On the way down to the hairpin I came alongside Giancarlo on the straight and he braked early. I then moved over because Bernoldi came across as well but then Giancarlo ran into the back of me, which unfortunately destroyed his race.
"It also damaged my rear wing, which did not help the balance of the car and it was very skittish under braking. I then had to come into the pits twice - once for the 'stop and go' and then a second time to make sure everything was all right with the car after the knock. It wasn't too bad so we decided to carry on, and I don't think the lap times were too bad in the circumstances. Unfortunately, however, the car developed an oil leak and so I had to stop."
The team are now preparing for the next round of the championship at the Nurburgring on June 24th, and will be testing the B201 chassis at Silverstone, Northampton, from June 12th to June 14th.
There, Giancarlo Fisichella will focus on brake and suspension development, while test-driver Mark Webber concentrates on launch control system work.
And on Friday June 15th, Fisichella will be joined by Jenson Button at the Santa Pod drag racing strip in Bedfordshire to practice launch control starts.