Everything you need to know about the Renaults' race in the Principality last weekend. Jarno Trulli took his first Grand Prix win after a trouble-free race. The Italian led from pole position and headed the field through the first corner, ahead...
Everything you need to know about the Renaults' race in the Principality last weekend.
Jarno Trulli took his first Grand Prix win after a trouble-free race. The Italian led from pole position and headed the field through the first corner, ahead of Fernando Alonso who had been third on the grid. The winner stopped in laps 24 and 43 (the second under the safety car), with the stops costing him 25.622 and 24.131 seconds respectively. Fernando Alonso was solidly in second position when his accident in the Tunnel on lap 42. However, he set the fifth-fastest race lap.
During the Grand Prix, only two drivers were able to descend below the 1:15.000 mark: Michael Schumacher and Jarno. The two set fastest laps of 1:14.439 and 1:14.870 respectively. Their performance came one lap apart, on lap 23 for the German and lap 22 for the Italian, just prior to their first pit-stops.
In order to give an idea of the pace the two men were running at, it is worth taking a look at their 'ideal lap', that's to say the sum of their three fastest individual sectors in the race. For Michael Schumacher, this gives a lap time of 1:14.426, that's to say 0.011s fastest than his quickest lap. The same is true for Jarno, whose ideal lap of 1:14.831 would have been 0.039s better than his fastest race lap. This shows both drivers were able to extract the maximum from their car.
Jarno set the fourth fastest absolute speed through the trap: 299.5 kph, against 303 kph for the Ferrari. Fernando Alonso was just behind with 299.4 kph. The two R24s were quickest on the run down to Mirabeau at the end of the first sector, with 215 kph (Jarno) and 214 kph (Fernando), ahead of Cristiano da Matta (212 kph) and Michael Schumacher (211.7 kph). However, the different set-ups of the Renault and Ferrai, and in driving style between Jarno and Michael, is illustrated by the 9 kph gap at the end of the second sector, exiting the first part of the Swimming Pool complex.
Consistency is a fundamental factor. To show this, the average of the 77 race laps (with the safety car periods and pit-stops removed) is particularly interesting. Jarno's average lap was 1:16.666, that's to say 1.796s slower than his ideal lap. It's an exceptional figure given the traffic encountered at Monaco, fuel loads and tyre performance. By comparison, Michael Schumacher's average was 2.688s slower and Barrichello's 2.783s. Only Jenson Button did better, with 1.604s difference between his race average and ideal, as he hunted Jarno down in the closing laps.
Jenson Button, who finished second, set third-fastest race lap at 1:15.220. However, his ideal lap shows a bigger gap: the Briton could have potentially set a time of 1:14.929. That's a gap of 0.291s -- indicating he perhaps struggled to extract maximum performance from the package.
Ultimately, the R24s showed great consistency, and the drivers made the most of it: impeccable starts, stable race performance and competitive pit-stops. They have been the keys so far to a competitive season -- and gives plenty of hope for the future!