Spanish GP: Renault qualifying report

FREE PRACTICE 3 Robert Kubica, R30-03, P9, 1:22.242, 20 laps Vitaly Petrov, R30-02, P18, 1:23.896, 5 laps QUALIFYING Robert Kubica, R30-03, P7, 1:21.353 Robert: Overall it was a good qualifying session for me. Seventh is a strong place to ...

FREE PRACTICE 3
Robert Kubica, R30-03, P9, 1:22.242, 20 laps
Vitaly Petrov, R30-02, P18, 1:23.896, 5 laps

QUALIFYING

Robert Kubica, R30-03, P7, 1:21.353

Robert: Overall it was a good qualifying session for me. Seventh is a strong place to start and I think I got the maximum from the car. We don't have a big package of updates for this race so it's encouraging to be ahead of one Ferrari and one Mercedes, which is not what I was expecting. I know that it will be a tough race tomorrow and it will be interesting to see how the soft tyres cope with the heavy fuel load in the opening laps. I think our race pace will be similar to our qualifying pace so I'm hopeful of a strong race and scoring some good points tomorrow.

Vitaly Petrov, R30-02, P14 (starts P19) 1:22.139

Vitaly: It was a very close session today and I only missed out on Q3 by three tenths, which shows that we have improved again this weekend - both myself and the team. To begin with it wasn't certain that I would make qualifying after my accident this morning when I ran wide onto the kerb and hit some standing water on the approach to turn four. So I have to say a big thank you to my mechanics because they did an excellent job to repair the car in time. I know the race tomorrow will be difficult because it's not easy to overtake here, but anything can happen in the race and I will try my best to move forward.

Eric Boullier, Team Principal
Robert did an excellent job to qualify in seventh and if somebody had told us before the weekend that we would qualify ahead of a Ferrari and a Mercedes, we would have been very happy. Obviously our expectations are changing with every race and we are now aiming even higher up the grid compared to the start of the season. Vitaly was unlucky to get caught out with his accident this morning, which affected this preparation for qualifying. Even so he only missed out on Q3 by three tenths and without losing the track time I'm sure he could have made it into the top ten. So it's encouraging to know that both cars have the potential to make it into Q3. Again I want to say a big thanks to the team for their hard work to get Vitaly's car ready in time for the start of Q1.

Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer
A lot of the teams have brought updates to this race, but overall our relative position remains similar to the first four races. Robert is in seventh, ahead of one of the Mercedes, which is good to see because we thought they might move away from us this weekend. Vitaly had an accident in final practice this morning, but the crew put in a tremendous effort to get the car ready for the start of qualifying and Vitaly was very close on pace with cars around him in Q2. For the race tomorrow we don't have any particular concerns with the car in terms of tyres or brake wear, so we're looking forward to a strong performance and hopefully scoring another good haul of points.

A chat with Vitaly
Three questions to Vitaly after an eventful day in Barcelona.

Vitaly, talk us through your qualifying session today...

I think we can be satisfied overall. To begin with I thought it might not be possible to take part in qualifying. My car had quite a lot of damage from my accident this morning and we didn't know if it could be repaired in time. Then, I did my best in the session, and it's clear the team has improved the car because I only missed out on Q3 by three tenths, which is a small gap compared to the last few races. So things look promising and going forward my objective must be to aim for Q3.

What happened this morning?

I got caught out, that's all. There was some water in the curbs before turn four, which was quite dangerous because it was impossible to see it. When I started to brake, the car spun and then I hit the tyres.

Did that impact on your preparation for the rest of the weekend?

My mechanics did an amazing job to repair the car to give me the best chance in qualifying. Of course with a straightforward morning I think I could have perhaps made it into the top ten because I only missed Q3 by three tenths. But that's racing and it's all part of my learning curve in Formula 1. The race tomorrow will not be easy. Overtaking is a real challenge, even if you have faster car. But you never know what can happen and we have to be ready to take any opportunities that come our way.

-source: renault

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Robert Kubica , Vitaly Petrov
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes