After 61 difficult laps Bruno and Vitaly finished the fourth edition of the Singapore Grand Prix in 15th and 17th respectively.
• Bruno clipped the wall early on in the race, resulting in an extra pit stop in order to change his front wing. This put an end to any chance of points.
• On his way to 15th position, Bruno started on super soft tyres before pitting on laps 10 (softs), 11 (softs), 28 (super softs) and 48 (super softs); Vitaly started on soft tyres and stopped on laps 16 (softs), 29 (super softs) and 47 (super softs).
• Bruno set his best time on lap 55, with a time of 1min 53.774secs; Vitaly’s best time was on lap 56 in 1min 54.204secs.
Bruno Senna, P15, R31-04
It was a tough race. My first lap was very good, but we then suffered from some very high tyre degradation. I was pushing hard to complete good lap times but we had to adjust the brake balance a lot to try and compensate for the rear tyre wear. When we put the soft tyres on they didn’t have quite the same bite as the super softs. Then, when I came into the hairpin which is the slowest corner of the track, my wheels locked up and I hit the wall. This made my race very, very complicated firstly because of the time lost there and secondly because of the extra pit stop. It could have been a much better race for us, but we did what we could and we will now start to think about Japan, where hopefully we can bring out more of the potential of the R31.
Vitaly Petrov, P17, R31-06
Today we had a race to forget. First of all I had some problems with KERS shortly after the start, which cost me a few tenths each lap and made it difficult to overtake. Then, the tyres started to behave poorly; when cars started overlapping me, I had to slow down a little and the tyre pressure went down. We have to pull together and look at why the car isn’t performing at circuits such as this. We haven’t performed at our usual level today, but the final five venues are all places where the R31 should perform better.
Eric Boullier, Team Principal and Managing Director
Coming to Singapore, we knew that we were in for a tough weekend. The R31 was never suited to street circuits and there were very few reasons to hope this might change here. However, we never expected our performance to be so embarrassing. Seeing our cars so low in the classification today, clearly struggling for grip among blue flags, was a painful experience. In these conditions, it is difficult to draw any positive from the race apart from the flawless job made by the organisers of the Grand Prix, who have definitely produced one of the best venues on the calendar. We will all forget this race quickly and turn our focus to Suzuka, where the track’s quick corners should make us smile again. Finally, I would like to wish Steve Nielsen, our Sporting Director, all the best for the future. Steve has been with the team for more than 10 years and today was his last race with us.
James Allison, Technical Director
Today’s race was 61 laps of misery to cap off a weekend of disappointment. We did not start today with high hopes; poor pace and high tyre degradation during the race simulation runs on Friday are not good weapons to take into the race and our cars suffered accordingly. Bruno nudged the wall after his first tyre stop which left him in last place after stopping to replace the damaged wing. Thereafter he showed good fighting spirit to get back to 15th place. Although it has been highly reliable in races hitherto, Vitaly was additionally hampered by loss of his KERS early on which made it very tough for him to overtake.
Ricardo Penteado, LRGP Engine Support Leader, Renault Sport F1
The weekend didn’t go as well as we hoped. It was difficult to find the right engine maps for this track but at the end we were happy with the driveability. Nevertheless, it was always going to be hard to do anything from our qualifying positions. Let’s look forward to Japan. We’ve performed well on this type of track this season so we’ll focus on getting back to form there.