Renault: No points for first time since 2010

2011 Hungarian GP team review

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Renault failed to score for the first time since last year after a fire on Heidfeld’s car.

Nick Heidfeld Vitaly Petrov
Qualifying position 14 12
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’22.470 (+0.186) 1’22.284
Race position 12
Laps 23/70 69/70
Pit stops 2 4

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 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70
Nick Heidfeld 126.843 116.86 111.864 109.558 107.812 105.41 104.41 103.923 104.072 103.62 105.837 122.681 98.361 94.469 92.986 92.208 92.698 93.48 90.826 91.045 91.261 91.691 92.93
Vitaly Petrov 124.782 112.067 109.752 108.303 107.044 105.449 105.055 103.674 102.897 107.125 126.591 97.325 95.909 94.17 93.188 91.46 91.12 90.01 90.353 89.855 90.098 89.392 89.745 89.963 90.44 112.982 87.605 87.309 87.525 87.715 87.438 88.197 87.934 90.853 88.309 88.477 88.71 88.326 87.666 88.006 88.204 88.189 88.199 87.131 87.935 95.264 92.922 89.816 101.541 120.71 113.386 93.956 98.614 110.546 85.93 85.446 84.836 85.319 85.031 85.206 86.628 85.104 87.355 85.761 86.129 85.525 85.151 84.664 86.176

Nick Heidfeld

A fuel delivery problem delayed Heidfeld in final practice. He took 14th on the grid which he said was “perhaps… an indication of where we stand right now.”

Heidfeld’s race ended with a dramatic fire but it hadn’t gone well up to that point – he’d been behind Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus for much of the race.

Starting on the damp side of the grid, he lost four places at the start, then another to Adrian Sutil on lap two.

He took Timo Glock on lap six, and moved back in front of Sutil by ditching intermediates for slicks a lap earlier than the Force India driver.

He spent the next few laps behind Kovalainen until Pastor Maldonado passed him on lap 18.

Now 18th, Heidfeld came in early for his second stop on lap 23. But it was the beginning of the end for his race.

His left-rear exhaust overheated during a slow pit stop, and smoke and flame was already visible from the car as he returned to the pits. He quickly pulled over as fire engulfed the left sidepod.

Afterwards team principal Eric Boullier said “the car is not designed to stay running on high revs for so long so it caught fire.” Heidfeld’s pit stop was one of the slowest of the race, around six seconds slower than the fastest.

Nick Heidfeld 2011 form guide

Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Hungaroring, 2011

Vitaly Petrov

Petrov struggled with tyre warm-up in qualifying, ending up 12th on the grid.

He made up a place at the start and was one of the first four drivers to switch to slick tyres.

Unfortunately his stop was one of the slowest of the races (even longer than Heidfeld’s) so instead of gaining places he lost one to Rubens Barrichello.

Petrov took soft tyres for his third stint and rose to eighth place by staying out longer than the cars around him. When the rain came later on he was in need of a pit stop for fresh tyres so he plumped for intermediates.

That proved to be a mistake which cost him a points finish. Afterwards he said: “When the rain returned near the end of the race I lost temperature in my tyres and this made the car’s handling very difficult.

“It looked like the wet conditions would continue so I changed to the intermediates, but it did not last as long as we thought. Maybe we should have changed to the super softs, but it is so difficult to predict the weather, and many other teams did the same thing.”

It was Renault’s first no-score since last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Vitaly Petrov 2011 form guide

Bruno Senna

Drove Nick Heidfeld’s car in first practice.

2011 Hungarian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    30 comments on “Renault: No points for first time since 2010”

    1. Renault have really let themselves down this year, which is shame considering how they started the year. I don’t buy all this “If Kubica was there…” nonsense.

      Also, didn’t Heidfeld’s car set alight due to the exhaust disintegrating.

      1. I think its not a question of Kubica’s pace but the enthusiasm that he brings to the team. The team doesnt seem to be on top of their game compared to last year and I wonder if its Nick’s inability to build up morale within the team. Not sure if this is what you were referring to as nonsense but if not then it gives another perspective to the situation.

        1. Morale wouldn’t affect car performance. And anyway, I think having Heidfeld there is benefitting the team as a whole since he apparently is much more open to sharing information with Petrov than Kubica was.

          1. What you say only means that having Heidfeld is benefitting Petrov, not the team.

            1. If one driver is helpful to another then that helps car development and team harmony.

          2. In terms of driving speed no but I think morale would affect the development of the car.

    2. Now they are sinking…and they even don’t have their supreme F-duct this year.

      1. You have to wonder if they’re not just marking time until Kubica is fit to race again. They had one of the most innovative designs on the grid with the frontal exhausts, but they’ve hardly developed it at all. They have one major package due for Spa-Francorchamps, and that’s it for the season, whereas last year they were regularly bringing new parts to races.

        1. Well, the most innovative doesn’t mean it’s powerful. It’s completely different story. Still I have to agree with you that they haven’t developed it well. I’ve heard that they’re preparing rear exhaust. I don’t know whether they’re saving resource for the next year or just poor engineering.

        2. Resting their hopes on Kubica is rather foolish. He might come back and be like Massa.

        3. They’ll have more updates after Spa. I would link you to the source, but I can’t find it.

        4. Douglas 62500
          2nd August 2011, 11:26

          That I guess is the problem. They still have rather good rates of development with loads of upgrades all the time, but they don’t seem to make the car any different. It is a bit scary actually to see a team drop back so rapidly, even with lots of upgrades. We did not see Brawn GP dropping down the grid so much even when they have no money, resources and very limited upgrades.

    3. Petrov struggled with tyre warm-up in qualifying, ending up 12th on the grid.

      He was also blocked by Perez at turn 12. Replays showed him getting very frustrated with a burbling Sauber right at the end of Q2. I’m surprised Preze didn’t take a grid penalty for it.

    4. dyslexicbunny
      1st August 2011, 15:42

      I wonder if after losing Kubica, they really even care anymore. Renault continues to disappoint.

    5. Wonder if the FIA will have anything to say about the incident in the pit stop. A long pit stop is likely to happen in a race, so if “it is not designed to stay running on high revs for so long so it caught fire” then it’s worrying.

      In an area so sensitive as the pits, it’s quite a tricky situation. Specially if the car then explodes!!

    6. The “If Kubica was there” thing isn’t entirely a mantra repeated by Robert’s fans. The facts are that Heidfeld was supposed to take care of development of the car and Petrov was supposed to bring performance. Kubica was doing both of these things on a level unreachable by the aforementioned gentlemen, moreover, he was a natural leader and to some extent, an inspirational figure.

      There’s nobody in Renault who’s not missing him, despite what Lopez might be saying. They need him badly.

      1. but if it is found out he could not come back…

        1. Then good luck to Renault and it’s new owners. If Kubica doesn’t come back with his former abilities, the team is basically screwed and Genii probably will not prolong it’s involvement with Enstone outfit. There’s no other top driver available for 2012 and another season in midfield will not be well received by the owners. The rumor has it that Kubica’s accident caused chain reaction, starting with sponsors decreasing their support, through messed up development program, ending with gradually lowering morale within the team. That’s kind of risk you have to take when you build a team around one man.

          1. Kubica wasn’t exactly any use in helping BMW in 2009, and that was the year he was “supposed” to be champion.

            1. You may say the same about Alonso and Renault in 2009. They were even worst than BMW. In about half of the year both of them knew that next year they will be in new teams.

      2. How do you know though? are you an important team member. You sound just like a frustrated Kubica fan to me. Criticizing Heidfeld and Petrov is pointless because you actually have no idea where Kubica would have been in the car, nor does anyone else.

        1. to me you sound like a frustrated Petrov fan
          and how do you know Heidfeld is sharing informations with Petrov about setup etc?(source?)
          all you have is Petrov saying few months ago that Kubica wasnt as open as he would like him to be, yet he still had Kubica’s race data which not many drivers share between each other
          and about Heidfeld, hes a dissapointment so far, even Boullier said they expected more from him

    7. Poor Nick, it’s the second fire this year, and very dangerous!

      1. He’s going to get paranoid, the poor guy!

    8. If You look at the last year Kubica was fast and consistent. You right, its difficult to judge if Kubica would be faster then Nik and Vitaly but there are scoring points one instead of another. If the car is good enought for 8 place, then both should be somewhere around 8 – 9 place. Instead its one race with points for Vitaly and another race for Nik.

    9. Watching Renault has been wounderful this year, thier car really is a jet fighter! Its either off the ground flying or in a big balls of flames! Now Nick lay off the after burners, they’re not designed to work that long!!!

    10. I would worry about the team ever needing to replace a front wing if they are so easy to put on flames, and standing next to the car when it just entered the pits after a race sounds hazardous too. Bit odd really.

    11. If they carry on performing like this, then they can forget about 5th in the CC, let alone 4th.

      I doubt this ‘major’ update package’ll return them into the sharp-end of the field at Spa, either.

      They might as well give up on this season, although saying that, it seems as if they’ve done it already.

    12. I thought its lotus renault the name

      What taking so long kubica

    13. oh, Nic is literally ON FIRE this season!

    Comments are closed.