In a rain-drenched Canadian Grand Prix which saw a number of appearances from the safety car, Vitaly secured ten more points for the team but Nick’s race finished early after a collision with Kamui Kobayashi on lap 55 while he was fighting for fifth.
• LRGP remains fourth in the Constructors’ Championship with 60 points.
• Thanks to his performance today, Vitaly climbs to seventh in the Drivers’ Championship with 31 points – just one point off Felipe Massa and two points ahead of Nick.
• Vitaly had the third quickest lap of the race behind Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel.
• With 1,435 kilometres run this weekend, LRGP was the second most consistent team behind Mercedes GP.
Vitaly Petrov, P5, R31-05
“Today, the conditions became very difficult after a few laps and stopping the race was the right decision. There was absolutely no grip and the car was aquaplaning everywhere. When it restarted, we tried to make the most of our position : I was fourth because I decided not to change my tyres before the red flag. From then on, I was fighting for a good position. On one hand, finishing fifth after starting 10th is a good result but, on the other hand, I really feel we could have finished on the podium today. That said, I welcome these extra points, and I think we’re back on track after a couple of difficult races. A big thank you to the team for the work this weekend.”
Nick Heidfeld, DNF, R31-04
“Naturally, the main disappointment for me is that I didn’t finish the race. I was behind Kamui (Kobayashi) and then something happened. He slowed down suddenly and I hit the back of him, which resulted in my front wing coming off and me going off the track. I was on track for fifth and some good points, so it’s frustrating that more did not come from today after a decent qualifying session yesterday. Today was one of those unpredictable races and I just had to drive as well as I could in the circumstance. We will now look forward to Valencia where I hope to get some more points for the team.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal and Managing Director
“Once again, the team scored points today, which means we’ve finished in the top 10 with at least one car at every race since the start of the season. We’ve also understood some of our recent problems, and the solutions we brought with us to Montreal were promising because our pace has clearly improved. This said, despite all these positives, we leave Montreal with mixed feelings. Firstly, we could have scored points with both cars today. Unfortunately, Nick was caught out by Kamui Kobayashi, who was unusually slow on exit. Until then, his race had been perfect. With a bit more luck, Vitaly could have finished a bit higher too.”
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer
“A very eventful afternoon. We felt we were a little bit unfortunate to only come away with fifth place to be honest. We judged it right in the first part of the race when other teams were stopping for intermediate tyres, but we could see there was a lot of rain coming so we stayed out on our extreme wets. Unfortunately Nick had a tussle with Kamui (Kobayashi), lost his front wing which put him out of the race and then Vitaly drove a solid race to come home fifth. We were definitely looking to get two cars into the points so could have been better from that point of view.”
Ricardo Penteado, LRGP Engine Support Leader, Renault Sport F1
“A really busy race for everyone and almost impossible to sum up in just a few words. A good result for Vitaly to secure fifth position and some more points, which will be very important for the constructors’ championship as Mercedes got a strong finish here. We went very aggressive with his fuel strategy, counting on the rain to throw up a lot of different possibilities, and we were very, very tight at the end. After a precautionary engine change for Nick last night, it was looking good in the race and a shame he could not get the points he deserved. All the same, both cars were very competitive throughout the whole race and it will give us confidence going back to Europe for the next event.
• Did you know?
Following analysis on Nick’s car’s engine oil on Friday evening, the team detected an unusually high proportion of lead which could have caused a failure. We decided to take the precautionary measure of switching to a brand new engine. As a result, this engine will have to be used on Fridays only in future.