Fourth place for Jarno, but Fernando crashes on lap 9. The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team reaches the mid-point of the 2004 Championship in second place in the Constructors' Championship thanks to a fourth place finish from Jarno Trulli in today's...
Fourth place for Jarno, but Fernando crashes on lap 9.
The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team reaches the mid-point of the 2004 Championship in second place in the Constructors' Championship thanks to a fourth place finish from Jarno Trulli in today's US Grand Prix. The Italian, who started last following problems in qualifying, climbed through the field thanks to the two safety car periods and a two-stop strategy to take a solid fourth place.
His team-mate Fernando Alonso made a magnificent start from ninth on the grid and overtook five cars (after Montoya was forced to start from the pit-lane) to claim third place at the first corner. However, his race ended with a violent accident on lap 9 under braking for the first corner; at this stage, the team believes the cause to have been a puncture of the right-rear tyre, owing to debris on the circuit following a first-lap accident.
Jarno Trulli, 4th position:
"I did my best today from last on the grid. I made the most of the start to gain lots of positions, then we brought my first stop forward during the second safety car period, a move that paid off later in the race. I pushed all the way, but Sato was catching me during the last stint - I was really on the limit, and the lap before he overtook me, I went off."
"Then, there were flags in the banking because of oil on the track so I lifted, and he passed me into the first corner. Of course, I am slightly disappointed to not finish on the podium, but when you look at where I started, this is a very good result."
Fernando Alonso, retired:
"I got a fantastic start; I braked very late into the first corner because I knew it would be one of the only chances to overtake. As for the accident, it is difficult to explain because everything happened so fast, but I think it was a puncture. I lost the chance of a podium today."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director:
"We had a tough weekend, but Jarno's fourth place is some consolation. He drove a strong race, but is also disappointed not to be on the podium. Fernando didn't have any luck, just when he looked like producing a great drive. We are satisfied to maintain our position, but hope to improve our level of performance ahead of Magny-Cours."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering:
"It was a dramatic race today and given that we are slightly disappointed to come away with only a fourth place finish, I think we must be positive about our achievements. From ninth and twentieth on the grid, it was never going to be an easy race, but both drivers made excellent starts to make up position on the first lap."
"Fernando was unlucky today, and we currently believe that his accident was caused by a puncture. We took advantage of the second safety car period to bring Jarno's first stop forward, and we then needed to keep a good pace and let the strategy unfold. He seemed to lose some performance in the last stint, and was frustrated to be overtaken by Sato, However, we maintained our championship position today, and remain optimistic for the next race, our home Grand Prix."