It was a disappointing afternoon for the ING Renault F1 Team as Fernando Alonso retired on the opening lap of the European Grand Prix in Valencia, while teammate Nelson Piquet finished in 11th. Having endured a difficult qualifying session ...
It was a disappointing afternoon for the ING Renault F1 Team as Fernando Alonso retired on the opening lap of the European Grand Prix in Valencia, while teammate Nelson Piquet finished in 11th.
Having endured a difficult qualifying session yesterday, both Renaults lined up in the midfield and expected a tough afternoon. However, Fernando's race was especially short-lived as he picked up heavy damage to the rear of his R28 during the opening lap battle, forcing the Spaniard into the pits and into retirement.
Nelson's race was more straightforward, although he sustained damage to his front wing in the early stages. He took advantage of a one-stop strategy to run a long opening stint to rise to the fringe of the top ten, where he remained until the end of the race.
After this disappointing weekend, the team will regroup and look to bounce back at the Belgian Grand Prix in two weeks time. Before that, the team will travel to Monza for three days of testing next week.
Fernando Alonso DNF
"After qualifying yesterday, I knew that me weekend was going to be difficult. At the start I was touched by Nakajima and I lost my rear wing. My mechanics did everything to try and allow me to continue, but my race was already compromised. I am extremely disappointed because I was hoping to have a special race in my second home Grand Prix and for the supporters who came here this weekend to support me. I now want to concentrate on the rest to the season and the next race in Spa."
Nelson Piquet P11
"The first lap was rough as I was in the middle of the pack and lost several positions. After that I tried to fight back, but my front wing was damaged and it was difficult to overtake. It's a shame that we couldn't get into the top ten, but I hope we can have a better race in Spa for the Belgian Grand Prix in a couple of weeks time."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director ING Renault F1 Team
"It's a weekend to forget. Our objective remains to fight for fourth place in the championship and we must now stay focussed for the races to come and continue with our efforts to grow stronger."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering
"It's very disappointing to leave this wonderful new track with no points. We are particularly sorry not to have had a better race with Fernando for his second home Grand Prix, but we must now move forward and think of the next race."