Robert Kubica looked on course for a strong result in Suzuka – until his wheel fell off.
With Petrov crashing out at the start, Renault failed to score for the third time this year.
|Robert Kubica||Vitaly Petrov|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q2)||1’32.042 (-0.38)||1’32.422|
|Average race lap||2’07.363|
Out-qualified Fernando Alonso to take fourth, which became third on the grid after a gearbox change penalty demoted Lewis Hamilton.
He made a good start to take second place off Mark Webber but his race ended when his right-rear wheel fell off while driving behind the safety car.
Renault said the torque value on the wheel nut was lower than it should have been, meaning it was not tightened to its usual level.
That points to a potential problem with the wheel gun. A similar failure caused Lewis Hamilton to crash during qualifying for the European Grand Prix in 2007.
Renault say they have not experienced a similar problem this year. They are still investigating what went wrong but the parts are still in transit.
Started ten place behind his team mate but got away quickly off the line.
He moved left to avoid Nick Heidfeld but hadn’t realised he still had Nico Hulkenberg’s Williams alongside him. The crash put them both out of the race and earned Petrov a five-place grid penalty for the next race at Korea.
2010 Japanese Grand Prix