Renault: Boullier pained by “embarrassing” result

2011 Singapore GP team review

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Renault went to Singapore expecting a bad weekend and that’s exactly what they got.

Both drivers finished well outside the points. Having scored 60 in the first seven races of 2011, the last seven have yielded just ten points for Renault.

Eric Boullier described the team’s performance in Singapore as “embarrassing” and “painful”.

Bruno Senna Vitaly Petrov
Qualifying position 15 18
Qualifying time comparison (Q1) 1’48.861 (-0.974) 1’49.835
Race position 15 17
Laps 59/61 59/61
Pit stops 4 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 58 59 60 61
Bruno Senna 130.107 119.932 118.827 119.251 118.267 118.623 118.947 118.854 118.963 127.994 171.531 147.079 117.912 127.047 120.441 119.283 117.495 118.554 121.555 121.513 120.223 117.891 116.948 116.604 125.467 121.075 118.633 139.919 160.255 122.29 118.735 137.401 124.503 118.832 118.638 120.201 116.766 117.622 115.023 115.501 115.539 116.568 117.431 117.748 119.138 117.758 117.812 126.211 137.982 113.962 117.653 114.862 115.92 113.907 113.774 116.995 119.541 115.688 115.419
Vitaly Petrov 133.624 121.102 119.669 119.105 119.36 119.471 119.08 119.384 119.009 119.836 121.049 122.657 120.905 121.204 123.379 132.637 138.665 121.174 118.738 117.403 117.543 120.227 117.3 117.56 117.461 117.252 117.763 123.274 149.711 148.092 151.715 158.62 119.815 124.784 120.688 121.091 116.607 118.042 117.086 116.943 117.225 116.973 118.158 117.668 117.576 119.658 128.533 139.839 121.889 120.119 122.086 119.999 117.279 117.472 116.048 114.204 117.554 117.195 117.65

Bruno Senna

Bruno Senna, Renault, Singapore, 2011
Start tyre Super soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 35.398s
Pit stop 2 Soft 36.856s
Pit stop 3 Super soft 30.832s
Pit stop 4 Super soft 30.987s

Senna finished where he started: 15th.

Having switched to soft tyres on lap ten he hit the wall, breaking his front wing, forcing him to make another pit stop on the next lap.

That left him down in 22nd place. When the safety car came out he switched back to super soft tyres.

Then followed a strange sequence of events in which the team incorrectly told him he was racing Sergio Perez for position even though Perez was a lap ahead, and the pair made contact, fortunately without significantly disrupting either of their races.

He progressed as far as 15th and, despite having to make a fourth pit stop, finished there.

“We suffered from some very high tyre degradation,” he explained.

“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.”

Bruno Senna 2011 form guide

Vitaly Petrov

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 30.807s
Pit stop 2 Super soft 30.625s
Pit stop 3 Super soft 30.485s

The team abandoned its efforts to run new parts of Petrov’s car in practice because of cooling problems.

Technical director James Allison explained: “The bodywork upgrade package had a problem with its water radiator.

“Without time to diagnose the problem we had to make a swift decision to revert to the original package for the remainder of the weekend. We will figure out what went wrong ahead of the next race.”

Petrov admitted he made a mistake on his quickest lap which cost him up to half a second, which meant he was knocked out in Q1 for the first time this year.

He started the race on soft tyres but dropped back behind Jarno Trulli. He spent the first stint following Jaime Alguersuari behind the Lotus.

Alguersuari hit Trulli which ultimately removed both of them from in front of Petrov. But when he pitted during the safety car period he dropped behind Heikki Kovalainen.

He spent the rest of the race behind the Lotus, unable to get ahead when they pitted together on lap 47.

Petrov found a way past Jerome d’Ambrosio on lap 53 which left him 17th at the flag.

At the end of a tough weekend, Eric Boullier said: “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.”

Vitaly Petrov 2011 form guide

2011 Singapore Grand Prix

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    Image © Renault/LAT

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    Keith Collantine
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    28 comments on “Renault: Boullier pained by “embarrassing” result”

    1. Looks like Petrov ruined everyones fun of going “Oh look whoever qualifies in 18th will score points”

      that was a fun game :(

      1. It always going to be a little harder around Singapore than most places. Get Webber back down there.

    2. Ouchy! They did say it would happen before the race, but that must have been painful.

      Still, it was good to see Senna ahead of Petrov again.

    3. Disaster…

      1. The Renault that had two podiums aftr two races is another one compared to the current one. Their drop in performance has been drastic and may compromise their championship.

    4. So, maybe about time for Renault to think about someone else at the head of this team ?
      Mr Boullier seems to be quite un-charismatic, non-energical and dull. From 4th, possibly 3rd at the start of the year to 4th possibly 3rd worse at the end…

      1. Non-energical? You should remember with how much energy Boullier criticized the former management and drivers (Alonso and Grosjean). When he first came to Renault he was talking about himself as a Messiah who will return Renault to his former glory (which ironically was achieved by the management and driver he criticized). What has become of the team now? A line-up of pay-drivers who are out in Q1? Hope Kubica returns and things might go better.

    5. I just thought, hey where’s Senna. Pitting again?
      No images, no replay, nothing. Way to go!

      1. They were completely ignored by the cameras, so their disappointing results go by unnoticed by most people. ;)

    6. Whatever hopes they had of retaking 4th in the WCC from Mercedes were crushed into smithereens here. I think they may need to look more in their figurative mirrors now, as Force India have clearly established themselves as the 5th fastest car at the moment. FIF1 will need a bit of luck, but I can see them making Renault a tad nervous for 5th.

    7. The poor performance in Singapore was maybe because of fact that either Petrov or Senna has the cojones to drive it to the maximum in Singapore

      1. No, that had nothing to do with it. Didn’t you see the footage of Petrov early in the race? It was about the only time a Renault was actually shown. The R31 was mincing its rear tyres.

    8. I agree completely, Mr Boullier seems to be uninspired, akin to a bureaucrat, who manages a position; but feels no passion for what he does.

      In killing the career of Heidfeld, who, while no magician, was their top points scorer, but keeping Petrov, and throwing salt in the would by taking a mediocre replacement like Bruno Senna, Boullier clearly sets a trajectory for his team; Downwards.

      So if Renault in 2012 want to do better – start by replacing Boullier with a guy who sets his sights higher. Then replace one of the also-rans, with someone who has actually won a Grand Prix, and who can serve as a true benchmark.

      Finally, Renault is “the french team”, so get an F1 legend like Prost involved somehow.

      1. Well it’s not French team already. It will be much definite when they finally become JUST Lotus. They are British team which use French Renault engine like Redbull. Of course Redbull’s nationality is Austria but who cares?

      2. I am not too sure about Boullier being uninspired and a bureaucrat. From some interviews at the start of the season he seems to be the best of the lot of the top management at the Enstone Outfit right now.

        But I find it strange, that he is telling us how their car does not go with street circuits.
        After all, Petrov was running in the points when Alguersuari got lodged up the back of his car in Monaco, wasn’t he?

        1. Must have been a great drive then? Or maybe they just always were weaker at those tracks, but because they were relatively strong at the start of the year that meant points was still a reachable goal at the time?

      3. Someone who has won a race in a drivers’ seat eh? Who did you have in mind? There aren’t that many to choose from.

      4. why would they get prost when already have senna..

    9. Could their lack of traction be because of the front exhaust exit?

    10. Regardless of the car not performing on a given circuit, mistaking a car that is a lap ahead for one on your lap (even if it is a Sauber) is ineptitude.

    11. clearly struggling for grip among blue flags, was a painful experience.”

      I suppose you will be more understanding of Team Lotus now eh?

    12. They promised a lot since their podiums in the opening two races but now they are missing a driver like Kubica who could have develope their cars mid-season & even though they are talking not to take him on board for 2012.

      1. To be fair, I think the decision on Kubica has been taken out of their control.

        1. Yeah but they just can give a timeline to a driver who is talented & trying every which way to comeback in F1.

    13. Three races since Heidfeld left the team and Petrov still hasn’t managed to overhaul his points tally…

    14. Well, at least Renault can make accurate predictions.

      Ok, that may be clutching at straws.

    15. asking Senna to overtake a faster car whch was a lap ahead was the cause of all embarassment…..hw did that happen?!!

    16. renault obviously needs a management and driver line up overhaul…

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