Another double podium for Renault RS27 engine in British Grand Prix
Two Renault RS27 engines finished in the top three in today’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Red Bull Racing-Renault’s Sebastian Vettel secured second position behind winner Fernando Alonso, with Mark Webber third, giving the RS27 a total of 16 podium finishes so far this season. Lotus Renault GP’s Nick Heidfeld had a strong race to eighth, giving Renault engines three of the top ten positions.
Vitaly Petrov brought the second Lotus Renault GP home in 12th position, just 1.5secs from the points, however Team Lotus had a double DNF.
Sebastian Vettel maintains his lead in the drivers’ championship, with an 80 point lead over Mark Webber in second. Red Bull continues to lead the constructors’ title race, with 328 points to McLaren’s 218. Lotus Renault slips to fifth, three points behind Mercedes.
Key race weekend points:
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing-Renault locked out the front row for the second consecutive race, with Webber taking pole ahead of Vettel. Vettel had a better start off the line and built up a lead of around six seconds before the first round of pit stops when the circuit was sufficiently dry to change to slick tyres. Vettel maintained his lead, but a slow second stop due to a faulty rear jack dropped him behind Alonso and Hamilton. The German re-passed Hamilton for second during his third stop, but then faced a stern challenge from team-mate Webber in the closing laps of the race. After losing out to Vettel at the start, Webber kept Alonso behind until his first stop for slick tyres, after which he then closed the gap to Vettel to just over one second. His second stop was also slow but after a third stop the Australian was back behind Hamilton in fourth. A great move saw him pass the Brit for third and he closed to within one second of Vettel to secure his second consecutive podium.
Lotus Renault GP
A disappointing qualifying saw Vitaly Petrov and Nick Heidfeld start the race in 14th and 16th respectively. The race got underway in challenging conditions, with some parts of the track completely drenched but others relatively dry by comparison, but a great start from Heidfeld put him into 13th, with Petrov 14th. After a long battle with the Saubers and Toro Rossos, Heidfeld battled up to 8th at the close of the Grand Prix with Petrov 12th. Heidfeld is now eighth in the drivers’ championship with 34 points, while Petrov is ninth with 31.
Team Lotus had a positive start to the weekend, with Heikki Kovalainen graduating into Q2 ahead of both Toro Rossos. The Finn started from 17th position, however a gearbox issue caused by a possible electrical problem put paid to his race just two laps in. Jarno Trulli was not so lucky with the weather in qualifying as the rain fell after he had only made one run. He started from 21st, however his race also came to a premature end on lap 10 with an oil leak. As a precautionary measure to prevent damage to the engine, Jarno was instructed to pull over and retire from the race.
It shows just how determined the Red Bull Racing team and Renault Sport F1 are to succeed
Rémi Taffin, head of Renault Sport F1 track operations, gives his views on the race weekend:
Silverstone is a rightly described as a power track, where the engine has to have good top end power on the four long straights. At the same time, two of the straights are entered from relatively low speed corners, so driveability is also key. For this reason, we can be pleased with the double podium finish. Furthermore, considering the off-track discussions over the weekend, it shows just how determined the Red Bull Racing team and Renault Sport F1 are to succeed.
It was a disappointing end to the weekend for Team Lotus with the double retirement, one of which was due to an oil leak on Jarno’s car. We stopped him on track to prevent damage to the engine and we’ll conduct a thorough investigation to see what happened to put in place procedures and ensure it doesn’t happen again. It was a shame as the team is looking increasingly competitive and qualified in Q2 on merit.
Lotus Renault GP also had a hard weekend, but the race showed the race pace is still there, even in the changing conditions we saw here today. Nick’s eighth position is really important for the constructors’ championship as Mercedes are now looking quite strong and just managed to get ahead this weekend.
There’s a lot of work to do now before the next race and we need to remain focussed to deliver the best possible solutions to our partners.
Renault statistics in F1:
136 wins, 185 poles *
* including Supertec, Mecachrome and Playlife statistics
By: Renault Sport