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Renault – Best of the Rest

by F1Fan on April 20, 2010

This season the Formula One World Championship seems to have three distinct groups of competitors. The “Contenders” McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull Racing and Mercedes GP. The “Mid Field”, Renault F1, Force India, Williams, Torro Rosso and BMW Sauber and the “Newbies” Lotus Racing, VIrgin Racing and HRT F1 Team.

After a disappointing season in 2009 the newly regenerated Renault F1 team is proving to be the class of the “Mid Field” contenders. Robert Kubica already managed one podium finish in Australia, a forth in Malaysia and this week a fifth place finish in China and believed he could have done better in China:

“It was an exciting race today and it’s good to have scored some more points. At the start of the race I made a bad start and lost a lot of positions, but we made the right decision to stay out on slicks when it started to rain and I was able to move up through the field into third place. However, the critical moment of my race was when the safety car came out, which ended my hopes of a podium because I lost the big lead I had to the cars behind me. So although I’m happy to finish fifth, I still feel a bit frustrated to have missed a podium.”

However it takes both drivers to be driving at their full potential for the team to do well in the constructors championship. Renaults rookie driver, Vitaly Petrov has had less than stellar results so far, not all of his own doing however, with two retirements due to mechanical Failure and one due to an accident. That all changed this past weekend in China. Petrov exhibited flashes of brilliance in almost every race so far and finally managed to put it all together for the whole race in the Chinese Grand Prix finishing the first Formula One Race of his career in 7th position and jumping from 23 in the Drivers Championship 12th.

Talking about his performance after the race Petrov said:

“I’m happy to finish my first race in Formula 1 and to score my first points. It was a difficult race and it wasn’t easy to make the right decisions today. In the beginning, when it started to rain, some drivers came in for intermediates, but we decided to stay out on slicks, which was the right decision. Then I kept talking on the radio with the team to decide when we would change to intermediates, and again we got the timing right. When I changed to my second set of intermediates, I knew it would be important to look after the tyres, but we didn’t know if it would continue raining or if the track would dry out. But I kept pushing, the engineers told me that I had good pace, and in the final laps I had some good overtaking moves, especially with Schumacher and Webber, to gain some more places.”

Summing up the teams performance Eric Boullier, Renault F1 Team Principal in a relatively happy mood had this to say:

“To get two cars in the points today is a great result for the team and I’m very pleased with our performance. To see Vitaly score his first points is fantastic, especially in such spectacular style with a fighting drive where he showed great pace. It’s good for him to have a race distance under his belt and I’m sure he will take a lot of confidence from this excellent result. Robert, too, had another brilliant race, and didn’t make a single mistake all weekend. I also want to pay tribute to the team who have worked so hard recently, both here at the track and back at the factory in Enstone. They have not made any mistakes all season and have made great calls with the strategy: today’s result is a great reward for all their efforts.”

Now that Petrov has proven that he has what it takes to be a competitive F1 Driver Renault could even make it up into the “Contender” bracket, lets hope so, the closer the racing the better the race.

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