Fernando salvages fourth place, while Fisico finished twelfth, on a challenging afternoon for the team. The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team experienced a challenging afternoon at today's Monaco Grand Prix. The team scored five points, taking its ...
Fernando salvages fourth place, while Fisico finished twelfth, on a challenging afternoon for the team.
The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team experienced a challenging afternoon at today's Monaco Grand Prix. The team scored five points, taking its total in the constructors' championship to 63 points, thanks to Fernando Alonso's fourth place finish.
The race began strongly, with Alonso running second and Fisichella third in the opening stages, and when the race fell under safety car conditions just before half distance, both drivers were called into the pits for their only stop.
After this, they rejoined the race in 3rd (Alonso) and 8th (Fisichella) positions. Prior to the race, the team's engineers had predicted that rear tyre wear might prove severe on the R25, even on the harder compound tyre chosen by both drivers, and the effects of this began to show from mid-race onwards.
Fisichella lost speed after his stop, reporting a lack of grip which continued to worsen until the end of the race; the lack of rear grip cost him traction and braking stability, and he was unable to defend his position against his direct competitors. He finished the race in 12th place.
Fernando Alonso resisted longer, the Spaniard fending off the two Williams until the final ten laps. He was nevertheless able to finish fourth, maintaining his position atop the drivers' championship, and salvage five points from a testing afternoon for the team.
Fernando Alonso, 4th position:
"It was a really tough race for me. I tried to look after the tyres at the start of the race, so I didn't worry too much about the fact that Raikkonen was pulling away, but in the last twenty laps, things became really difficult: I did all I could to keep the Williams behind me, but I couldn't hold them off because the rear tyres were in poor condition and they could brake much later into the Chicane."
"After a race like that, I think we need to look at the positive aspects: we managed to score points on an afternoon when it would have been very easy to score none at all."
Giancarlo Fisichella, 12th position:
"I am extremely disappointed -- it was probably the most difficult race of my life today. The car was impossible to drive for the last 25 laps -- the rear tyres were completely gone and although I did my best to keep the other cars behind, I couldn't do it."
"The first part of the race was not too bad, and I was going well in third position, but when the safety car came out we fuelled until the end of the race. My situation got very difficult after that: the car was tricky to drive immediately after the stop, and things just got worse from there."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director:
"The only way to analyse a race like this is to look at things calmly. On the negative side, our competitors did a better job than us this afternoon and we need to understand why our car had such severe problems with tyre wear; on the positive side, it was a day when it would have been easy to score no points at all, and we still got five."
"Fernando worked miracles to finish fourth, while Fisico couldn't do anything as his tyre wear was even worse. This is not a performance that puts us under pressure -- we already were, as always in Formula 1. The season will be a long one, and we now that we all have to work hard to maintain our position at the top of the table."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"We gave the drivers a very difficult task today, and they responded fantastically: to finish the race with both cars in circumstances where it would have been extremely easy to crash out, is a real accomplishment."
"We chose the harder tyre for the race because we knew that rear tyre wear might be a problem on our car, but unfortunately, it exceeded even our most pessimistic predictions. We took a risk in pitting both cars when the safety car came out, but that wasn't the critical factor today -- it was the tyres. Now, we must analyse why we suffered so much with rear tyre wear where our competitors did not."