Renault: Boullier unhappy with single point

2011 European GP team review

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Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Valencia, 2011

Renault team principal Eric Boullier said the team should have scored more points in the European Grand Prix.

He said: “Given where we qualified, we were looking for a lot more from today’s race. Ninth and eleventh on the grid is enough to have a really competitive race well into the points.”

Mercedes have closed the gap to Renault in the championship and are now just three points behind.

Nick Heidfeld Vitaly Petrov
Qualifying position 9 11
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’38.781 (-0.287) 1’39.068
Race position 10 15
Laps 56/57 56/57
Pit stops 3 3

Renault drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57
Nick Heidfeld 117.645 107.932 107.682 107.509 107.294 107.234 106.863 107.223 107.04 107.25 123.283 110.547 107.838 105.977 108.486 106.336 107.161 105.727 105.562 105.607 105.512 105.653 105.986 105.744 105.782 106.215 123.01 110.002 104.979 104.738 104.74 104.655 105.099 104.756 104.646 104.803 105.224 105.055 105.188 120.937 110.617 104.282 104.445 104.661 104.955 104.337 105.512 103.99 104.169 104.947 103.901 106.578 104.226 104.159 104.111 104.467
Vitaly Petrov 120.928 109.444 108.588 109.183 108.408 107.915 107.592 108.014 108.001 107.703 107.895 108.099 107.831 108.174 125.037 111.249 105.974 106.272 105.904 105.927 106.264 106.074 106.44 106.862 107.005 106.521 121.34 110.79 106.513 104.424 104.082 104.309 104.27 104.442 104.383 104.154 104.464 104.314 119.714 109.223 103.151 103.317 103.771 103.933 107.897 107.496 104.768 104.253 106.048 104.301 104.135 104.96 104.7 104.459 104.773 105.356

Nick Heidfeld

Heidfeld out-qualified his team mate for the second race in a row but was passed by Adrian Sutil at the start.

He spent a frustrating race trying to get back past the Force India: “I managed to overtake him once but then he used DRS to get past me and unfortunately I was not able to attack any harder to get by him.

“It’s still another point gained for the team, but I did not expect to finish behind one Force India and one Toro Rosso.”

Nick Heidfeld 2011 form guide

Vitaly Petrov

Petrov missed out on Q3 by five hundredths of a second.

He elected to start on medium tyres but that went badly wrong – he lost four places at the start, struggling for grip on the harder tyres.

Jaime Alguersuari passed him on lap four, leaving him 16th, and he came in to change to softs on lap 15.

That meant he ended the race on soft tyres while the cars in front of him were on mediums. He passed Kamui Kobayashi for 15th place but wasn’t able to progress any further.

Vitaly Petrov 2011 form guide

2011 European Grand Prix

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    30 comments on “Renault: Boullier unhappy with single point”

    1. Their development was incredible last year, not sure what’s happening this year. They’ve lost out a lot.

      1. I wouldn’t call their development last year incredible, but its was definitely consistent progress. This year what seems to be harming them the most is their driver lineup. Petrov has improved, but is still a few leagues below the Kubica level, and Heidfeld hasn’t been doing anything much either.

        1. Slow pit stops, cars that are heavy on their tyres, cars where the brakes fail in qualifying or go up in flames is not helpful either. It is easy to blame the drivers but they have shed so many of the old stalwarts like Bob Bell, Steve Nielsen, Tim Densham at the Enstone outfit.

          Nick did have one brave non-DRS overtake at the turn 17 hairpin –

          I am sure Robert will be looking elsewhere.

          1. I’m not sure Robert will be in a position to choose a new team. Nobody knows how competitive he’ll be when he comes back. The teams will be cautious. Everyone wants to see how he will do with Renault. If he won’t be able to beat his team mate, I’m afraid it’ll be the end of his F1 career.

            1. This is why Renault want him to at least do a Friday afternoon drive this year. So much depends on how well the recovery goes for Robert. If he return to his original self he deserves a better team that Renault is at the moment. The fact that they have lost so many key figures that were there at the heydays of Alonso’s World Championships will not help matters. There is talk of Renault being interested in Webber and this does suggest that even they are not so optimistic about Robert’s return.

    2. Renault need to work on their pitstops – one of Heidfeld’s was slow were he could have jumped Sutil. The cars were eating tyres – Heidfeld is normally quite light on tyres but not at Valencia – he changed to his third set even before Lewis (and Petrov changed even earlier). Yesterday the FIF1 car was better than the Renault and the STR was better on its tyres allowing a two stop to work – still Jaime was a contender for driver of the day.

      1. The Toro Rosso was eating tyres too this year, but yesterday Alguersuari managed to finish in 8th position with only two pitstops. The right car-setup is all that matters.

    3. Unfortunately for the alternative strategies, it would seem the teams have more or less worked out how to use the tyres and I think from here on in the only situations where alternative strategies might work is if cars really are significantly more gentle/rough on the tyres than the opposition. Trying to eek out one or two more laps is not going to give you anything. The only time you can gain by staying out longer is if the opposition is switching to slower tyres, or if you’ve been able to preserve enough life to be able to really hammer in decent times at the end.

    4. Hmmm, Renault need Kubica back. Petrov has had a few good races this season but is still not up to it IMO, event though everything I read seems to suggest he is doing great.

      1. Yeah i dont get that either. one good race? hardly makes him a world beater does it.

    5. Boullier knows that Valencia might have been Renault’s last chance to get solid points, since they are likely to be hit hardest by the upcoming changes.

      1. Douglas 62500
        28th June 2011, 9:28

        I’m not an expert so dont blame me for this, but I was guessing that it might not affect Renault that much, because their exhaust exits at the front of the floor around middle of the car, not at the back, so I was wondering it they would just generally lose some downforce yet not losing the balance of the car. Just a guess really, no offence.

    6. Need. Kubica. Back. Bigtime.

      1. It’s the car and the team strategy which is the problem. I don’t think Kubica would have done better than Heidfeld.

        1. Really? I though this years car is considered more competitive than last year :) Hei and Pet suck!

    7. Many drivers lost many positions at the start starting on mediums. The performance difference is too great.

      1. Maldonado is another one.

    8. Gutted, That sentiment is directed at dany bahar.

    9. byronf1 tweet yesterday

      Eric Bouillier has approached Mark Webber to join Renault. Among other things that suggests Kubica’s unlikely to return I guess

      don’t know if that is fact or just paddock rumour.

      1. Well, I can imagine Bouillier showing interest in Webber, independent of weather Kubica will return or not.

    10. Webber at least makes consistent races. Seems like the current Renault line-up can end up anywhere in the field despite that their car is reliable. They can be anywhere from a podium to last.

      1. Since when has Webber been consistent? IMO Webber would not be an improvement on either of the current drivers. People tend to think of him as one of the best drivers, but in reality he’s just been flattered by having the best car for the last few seasons.

    11. I think that the season was never going to recover from losing Kubica before it started, that was a real hammer blow. They’ll move on but best to forget this season as a contest, and maybe give a chance to an up ‘n’ comer from GP2 or elsewhere, or Senna.

    12. I don’t think i’ve been so shocked by a pit-stop seeing Heidfeld pull into the pits first (I didn’t notice anyone before him)!

      He had fresh tyres but it just made no difference, evidently.

      Disappointing to be honest.

      1. My point is the car is eating tyres amongst other problems. Both drivers suffered with their super-softs at Monaco. Petrov could not even make the hard tyres last this weekend. Heidfeld is traditionally good at conserving tyres (when at BMW Sauber) – Robert was much harder of tyres with his more aggressive driving so even were Robert driving I think the team would be struggling, just not as much.

    13. Sorry Mr. Boullier.
      You’re the fifth fastest team. Nobody retired.
      Do the maths.

      1. You’re the fifth fastest team.

        And they finished the race as the seventh-fastest car.

        1. And they finished the race as the seventh-fastest car.

          …even. Precisely.

          1. By which I mean that had they finished the race as fifth-fastest car, they’d have scored more points, so Boullier is right to be dissatisfied,

            1. “Given where we qualified, we were looking for a lot more from today’s race. Ninth and eleventh on the grid is enough to have a really competitive race well into the points.”

              Most races Nick has improved his final result over qualifying except this weekend and at Canada where he was in a good position and goy caught out by Kamui suddenly appearing to slow in a corner.

              Their drivers are still doing better than the Mercedes drivers and some how their team is not criticising their drivers the whole team.

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