Renault: “Not a crumb of comfort” for Senna

2011 Abu Dhabi GP team review

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Renault failed to score for the third race in a row in Abu Dhabi.

Bruno SennaVitaly Petrov
Qualifying position1412
Qualifying time comparison (Q2)1’41.079 (+0.16)1’40.919
Race position1613
Pit stops22

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

Bruno Senna124.355128.658108.934109.117108.99109.248109.937111.009109.548108.859108.855108.71108.713108.385108.407108.947108.987109.976109.964112.146127.752108.481108.678107.155109.316109.266107.44107.315106.828106.593106.534106.15106.349106.391107.941108.606119.253106.729109.203106.48106.639106.312109.191109.621108.335107.061107.191107.17108.137107.54107.617107.178109.885108.326
Vitaly Petrov121.33111.797110.775110.283108.57108.69108.18108.137108.737108.554108.799108.413108.92110.689109.047108.947112.304110.631127.937109.994107.688107.786107.701107.631107.665107.257107.14107.4107.264107.292107.128108.565109.428107.47108.005107.758107.979109.193123.694104.955104.736104.465104.45104.38104.307104.32103.871103.831105.01105.865104.298103.673104.272104.089

Bruno Senna

Bruno Senna, Renault, Abu Dhabi, 2011
Start tyreMedium
Pit stop 1Soft 20.882s
Pit stop 2Soft 20.33s

Senna described his 14th on the grid as “below par” after doing a single lap in Q2 to save tyres.

Renault split the strategies between their cars – Senna starting on medium tyres, Petrov on softs. Senna ditched his mediums after a single lap but managed to get to the end of the race making only one more stop.

He lost four places on the first lap as he struggled for traction on the harder rubber. Having switched to soft tyres he made his way past the HRT, Virgin and Lotus drivers but wasn’t able to make any further impression on the midfield.

That was partly down to a drive-through penalty for failing to observe blue flags but also – for the second race in a row – a KERS failure.

"Let’s be honest here – there’s not a crumb of comfort to take from that performance,” he said afterwards.

“We suffered from a KERS failure, drive-through penalty and a car which was not on the money at this particular track. Put those together and you see why I finished where I did.

“There was lots of lost time to make up and, strategically, we took a gamble that didn’t pay off. I certainly think that overall this weekend my pace was as good as it could have been.”

Bruno Senna 2011 form guide

Vitaly Petrov

Start tyreSoft
Pit stop 1Medium 20.738s
Pit stop 2Soft 19.968s

Petrov was delayed by a steering rack problem on Friday but was satisfied at qualifying 12th on the grid.

However his progress in the race was delayed by his DRS not working properly, which he said left him “helpless”.

Nor did a switch to the harder compound tyres at his first pit stop go according to plan: “When I first stopped, we put fresh medium tyres on but unfortunately these did not last long enough so we returned to the pits on lap 38 to change to the soft. Unfortunately that ended up being too slow.”

He went off at turn 17 at one point and finished 13th.

Vitaly Petrov 2011 form guide

Romain Grosjean

Drove Senna’s car in first practice.

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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    24 comments on “Renault: “Not a crumb of comfort” for Senna”

    1. “We suffered from a KERS failure, drive-through penalty and a car which was not on the money at this particular track. Put those together and you see why I finished where I did.”

      When ever I see the onboard footage in Senna’s car, be it in the race or even qualifying, he never looks like he’s extrapolating everything out of the car he has. It’s not all the car’s fault.

      As much as I’d love to see another Senna do great things, I can’t help but feel he isn’t quite cutting the mustard at this level.

      1. forgot my … Edit?… Bah!

      2. I am not going to judge Senna now. He’s done a few races, initially very well, now very badly, but his drop-off in performance has happened at the same time as Renault’s, therefore I’m not sure who’s to blame. Certainly when Petrov beats him in qualifying it does him no good.

        1. @Fixy Think you have hit the nail on the head there! I think Senna should be glad of it at the moment. He did well in Spa and that’s about his only stand-out performance. That said, I do think he would be a pair of capable hands next year.

    2. “We suffered from a KERS failure, drive-through penalty and a car which was not on the money at this particular track. Put those together and you see why I finished where I did.”

      How about the high-risk strategy that relied on an early safety car to stand a chance of working?

    3. I know Renault is fighting with Sauber/Force India and STR. But Renault please put Senna in the same strategy as Petrov for once. The two drivers have been on different strategy every race, and it’s hard to judge Senna’s performance under the circumstances.

      1. I know Renault is fighting with Sauber/Force India and STR.

        Force India are the only ones who can challenge Renault. Even then, it’s a tall order – they need fifteen points.

        Sauber and Toro Rosso could technically pass them … but they’d need a 1-2 finish with Renault filing to score.

    4. I certainly think that overall this weekend my pace was as good as it could have been.

      What was Senna up to in that final stint, though? Sure, he may have had to move out of the way a few times for the leaders, but he didn’t produce a single lap under the 1m46s.

      1. that was down to his tyre wear. All the rubber in the tyres are gone and there was no grip at all. He pited in the first lap and went with two long soft tyre stint

        1. Ah, now I see it; the second spike in the lap-times chart is his drive-through, not a pitstop.

    5. I really hate seeing Renault slip back like this.

      Which asks the question, how good’s their 2012 season going to be? Sadly, it looks likely that Kubica won’t back for the start of the season at least, so even if they have a good car next season (like they had for the first few races of this season), I don’t think 2 relatively inexperienced drivers would be able to exploit it. And yes, Petrov does come under the ‘inexperienced’ bracket even though he’s had 2 years worth of experience; he makes too many silly errors far too often, and could easily have more points by now. That’s not to say he’s a rubbish driver by any means, as I quite like him and he’s shown he can be quick at times.

      1. They need Timo Glock, even if he has signed a contract.

        1. agreed. i’m still puzzled he decided to extend his contract, but in F1, contracts dont seem to matter too much.

        2. True!

          Timo Glock will do well in Renault. He did very well at Toyota, esp. in the first half of 2009 where Toyota were the third best team after Brawn and Red Bull.

          Plus, he is driving a Virgin now. He would happily switch cars to Renault for little money, hence Renault won’t have to worry about the driver burning a big hole in their budget.

        3. Never mind Glock, they need Kubica!

          1. I’m afraid that Kubica may be finished in top flight.

    6. The renault’s reliability are to weak, bouth cars with problems and Bruno kers fail twice in a row. Bad start for bruno as we can see that he is not used to do this yet (last year he had more than 20 cars in front of him and almost none in his back), anyway he is not a great starter, at least he is showing this.
      Petrov performance is not more than average for a driver with his f1 history.
      I hope Renault do not change de driver lineup, Grosgean will do nothing more than the actual two.

      1. Bruno’s poor start was due to the low temperature of the medium compound. He was one of the few who started with hard compound, so with less grip at the start.
        But I do agree he should have done better with his start.
        If you notice, last race in India he had a superb start, climbing from 14th to 10th, passing both torro Rosso. If his Kers did not fail last race, he could have hold them up I recon

    7. I am gutted by LRGP and R31 performance. I think both driver tried as hard as they could. Strategy was not working as well. How could you possibly bet there will be a safety car (base on past records?). Bruno’s second set of tyre were almost tearing off in the last 10 laps…..

      I dont think Heinfield would have done better.

      I really hope Bruno does well and can stay in F1. All he needs is craft his skills more and gain experience, he is a talented driver. I hope LRGP performance will be better in Interlagos, and hope Bruno can score a great deal of points in his home race.

    8. i think the LRGP still working like when the season started, the diference is that others teams improved so much along the season and LRGP still stacked on the first races with that two P3 , but the true might be that LRGP can still producing the same but the others are producing more then before, becouse not even senna is able to get p3 or points zone but Petrov either like before

    9. 2011 Points:
      9 Vitaly Petrov Russian Renault 36
      10 Nick Heidfeld German Renault 34

      So I’ll submit again, Boullier is in over his head and and only sacked Heidfeld, after running him down in the press for weeks, to distract from his own failure to bring a reliable, competitive car to the track. Of course he wanted some scratch from Senna too, which he lies about still. In any event that extra money, on top of Petrov’s Lada rubles, is not doing anything for them.

      1. This points they win when the R31 hade more pace comparing to the other cars…. when Senna starts to run, the car already had lost in development to the other teams….
        He shows a little of performance on Spa becouse it is a driver’s circuit, as it on points in Monza…. in Suzuka he did a good job on quali and Petrov finish in the points…. this 3 circuits are very selective. The other races depends too much of the car’s performance

    10. Rubens is the best option for Renault next year. End of the story!

      1. Agreed, Renault will need an experienced driver in their line up, someone who can grab them by the scruffs of their necks (if necessary) and steer them in the right direction (We can easily tell Boullier is not that person). They showed so much promise at the first two Grands Prix this season, but disappointingly they’ve slipped far behind.

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