The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a highly competitive German Grand Prix and brought both cars home in the points. Giancarlo Fisichella finished a strong fourth with a race time of 1:19:20.350, while his team-mate Jenson Button ...
The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a highly competitive German Grand Prix and brought both cars home in the points.
Giancarlo Fisichella finished a strong fourth with a race time of 1:19:20.350, while his team-mate Jenson Button finished just behind in fifth place with a race time of 1:19:23.327.
Technical Director Mike Gascoyne said that the result was fantastic for everybody at the team and proved that the team had the engine reliability it has been working towards.
"This has been a tremendous result for the whole team, particularly for all the Renault Sport staff at Viry-Chatillon who have worked so hard. This is a difficult circuit for engines, because they run for a long time at full revs and power is at a premium.
"It is a great result for everybody at Enstone, too, because they have had to endure a lot of criticism, despite having worked so hard. This is a tremendous lift and gives us a useful kick-start before the final races of the season.
"The car was good all weekend - although we had a bad Saturday and didn't qualify well - and the team performed brilliantly on race day," he added. "We must make sure this is the norm henceforth, and not a one-off."
Team Director Flavio Briatore was equally as pleased. "I am very, very happy with this result," he said afterwards. "After the tough time we had yesterday we bounced back and I want to congratulate Renault's engine people at Viry for doing a great job - and also our two drivers."
"I am very happy, for Jenson and myself. I made a good first start, but didn't get away so well the second time because the drivers ahead closed the door and I lost a few places. I drove conservatively in the early stages and saved enough fuel to do a slightly longer first stint than planned. When I rejoined I was ahead of Jenson and things continued to go well, although I ran slightly wide near the end and lost a bit of time.
"The whole result is great for the team and I would like to thank everyone who has helped make it possible," he added. "And a special thanks to Michelin whose tyres were excellent in every respect."
"This isn't a result we obtained just because lots of cars fell off - we genuinely had good pace. I didn't think we would be in the points, but I thought we'd be very consistent. The car was very good on Friday and I could tell straight away that it was the same today. It was very well balanced and I think we were quicker than the Jordans and the BARs when we were running the same fuel loads.
"It's great that both Giancarlo and I were in the points and I think this is the biggest boost the team has had all year. A track like this highlighted our potential - and our reliability.
"I only had one slight problem in the race," he added. "I pulled my water bottle tube out of my mouth, so it was spraying all over my face whenever I braked. It wasn't an easy race, especially with Alesi right behind, but it was good fun!"
The team now have a three-week testing and racing break and will next be on track for the Hungarian Grand Prix on August 19th, before testing at Barcelona in Spain from August 21st-24th.