A second win in two races for the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso led the race from lights to flag, on a two stop strategy that saw him visit the pits on laps 21 and 40. He managed skilfully his Michelin...
A second win in two races for the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso led the race from lights to flag, on a two stop strategy that saw him visit the pits on laps 21 and 40. He managed skilfully his Michelin tyres over the race distance, and made full use of the performance of the R25 and its RS25 engine, which suffered no problems during the second race of its life cycle.
Giancarlo Fisichella started third on the grid, a position he held during the first two stints of the race. However, after his first stop, damage to the front of his car saw him lose a significant amount of downforce, which caused high levels of understeer and slowed him by up to two seconds a lap. On lap 37, his race ended at turn 15 following a collision with Mark Webber's Williams.
The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team currently leads the world championship with 26 points. Fernando Alonso becomes the first Spaniard to lead the drivers' world championship, on 16 points, while Giancarlo Fisichella now lies second on 10 points.
Fernando Alonso, Winner:
"Physically, it was a very demanding race and I really felt how hard it had been on the podium afterwards. But it's a great feeling to win here, and the way I was able to do it demonstrates that we are competitive with our rivals this season, on every type of circuit."
"Everything went well from start to finish: the car, the engine and the Michelin tyres. A big thank-you to the whole team: they did a fantastic job this winter in Enstone, Viry and Clermont-Ferrand at Michelin. At this stage, I think we have a real chance to fight for the title."
Giancarlo Fisichella, retired, lap 37:
"It was disappointing not to make it to the chequered flag, but I had a difficult afternoon. The car was not very well balanced at the start of the race, and after my first stop, I lost a lot of front downforce: I think something broke. I was up to two seconds slower than the race pace, and the car was understeering everywhere; so there was no grip at all."
"As for the collision, Webber got past me into turn 14, then I overtook him again on the straight afterwards. I was ahead, and he was on the outside when he took his line into the corner. As I was braking, the rear of the car slid and Mark had left no margin for error, so we collided. For me, it was a racing incident."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director:
"This was a great success for the whole team, and for Renault. We must thank Michelin for extremely good tyres, and all the partners who contribute to our success. We have shown that the team is competitive with both cars, and all the hard work until now is beginning to come good: I particularly want to congratulate my colleagues at Viry, as our engine had no problems at all during the weekend."
"Fernando drove a fantastic race from start to finish: he was very cool, and managed his lead comfortably, as Giancarlo did in Australia. As for Fisico, I feel bad for him: it is a shame he had to retire, but we don't blame him. We are very happy to have two drivers like Fernando and Giancarlo; it makes Renault a very strong team."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"Fernando drove a splendid race, just like in Australia. He made full use of the excellent equipment at his disposal: chassis, engine and Michelin tyres. We saw afterwards that it had been a long, demanding race, but he made no mistakes and this was a drive of somebody who has the makings of a champion."
"Giancarlo's car was damaged after his first stop, and he lost a significant amount of front downforce, which allowed his rivals to catch him. As for the accident, I don't want to make any judgement before taking a closer look."