Double podium for RS27 in chaotic Canadian Grand Prix
Heavy rain, five safety car periods, a two hour race stoppage and incidents of varying degrees were the hallmarks of today’s Canadian Grand Prix.
Despite the chaos, two Renault RS27 engines finished on the podium with Red Bull Racing-Renault’s Sebastian Vettel ending the 70 lap race in second place – just losing the lead on the final lap to Jenson Button. Red Bull team mate Mark Webber drove a measured Grand Prix to pass the flag in third. Lotus Renault GP’s Vitaly Petrov, also powered by the RS27, came home in fifth, five places up on his grid slot, giving the RS27 three of the top 10 positions. Team Lotus’ Jarno Trulli finished the race – which eventually finished four hours after it started – in 17th position.
Sebastian Vettel retains his lead in the championship over Jenson Button, who now moves into second position, while Mark Webber keeps third. In the constructors’ championship, Red Bull Racing-Renault extends its lead to 255 points over McLaren’s 186, with Lotus Renault GP keeping fourth.
Key race weekend points:
Red Bull Racing
Sebastian was powered to his sixth pole position of the year by the Renault RS27, maintaining the Red Bull Racing-Renault’s unbroken record of poles this season.
The reigning world champion set a time more than two seconds quicker than the pole of 2010 to secure his 21st career pole, the 183rd for Renault in F1 and the 27th for the Red Bull-Renault partnership. Sebastian controlled the race for the majority of the 70 laps, and was holding off Button after the final safety car period, but ran wide with just a couple of corners remaining to allow the Briton through. Mark had a tough race, with a spin after the first safety car when he made contact with the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton. He dropped down to 14th but by the fourth safety car was back into the top ten and on lap 51 moved to slick tyres to start his charge to third. After some tight battles with Schumacher and Button he claimed third with three laps remaining to get his third podium of the year.
Lotus Renault GP
Nick and Vitaly both used their RS27 to qualify in the top ten; with Nick starting 9th and Vitaly 10th. Nick was a late retirement after a racing accident with Kamui Kobayashi on lap 55 damaged his front wing and sent him skidding off into the barriers. Vitaly claimed fifth, with the third fastest lap of the race and now moves to seventh in the drivers’ championship.
After a very strong weekend, which saw Team Lotus qualify just half a second from Q2, the race proved to be more difficult, with Heikki retiring the T128 on lap 36 with a driveshaft failure. Jarno had a strong drive after losing some places following his first pit stop, but lost further time when the front inerter failed and dropped down around his feet in the cockpit. He however brought the car to the finish in 17th overall.
Rémi Taffin, head of Renault Sport F1 track operations, gives his views on the race weekend:
The Canadian Grand Prix is always a tough challenge for the engines since the 4.361km track features a 1km long straight that covers 25% of the total lap distance and tight, sharp corners. As a result, the circuit demands good engine performance at the top end with good driveability and responsiveness as well. To get two engines on the podium at such a track, and three in the top 10, is a really good result.
Sebastian retains a healthy lead in the championship all the same
The rain obviously also played a large role in the engine management strategy as well, as we opted for softer engine maps to give the drivers smoother acceleration out of the corners in the slippery conditions. We also had to watch the fuel consumption rates with the constantly changing lap times, frequent pit stops and then the safety car periods so we can be pretty pleased with the overall finish.
Congratulations to Red Bull Racing on a well judged race, it was a shame to miss out on the win at the very end, but Sebastian retains a healthy lead in the championship all the same. Lotus Renault GP keeps hold of fourth as well and showed they are back to competitive form. It was unfortunate that Nick couldn’t give them a double points finish but in these conditions it’s a real lottery. Team Lotus made some good progress again this weekend and we are very pleased with how this partnership is maturing.
Hopefully we’ll continue the strong form across all our partners at the next round in Valencia, which has similar characteristics to here with the tight corners and stop-start complexes, plus some high speed sections.
Source: Renault Sport