• European Grand Prix

Renault ruing poor starts

ESPNF1 Staff
June 26, 2011 « Schumacher accepts blame for Petrov clash | »
Nick Heidfeld eventually lost out to Adrian Sutil © Sutton Images

Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov both struggled with their starts as Renault endured a disappointing European Grand Prix.

Heidfeld finished 10th and Petrov 15th as Renault left Valencia with only one point, with Force India and Toro Rosso both scoring more highly. Having started in ninth place, Heidfeld finished behind Adrian Sutil and said that losing out to him at the start had proven costly, but that Renault's performance had not been good enough all weekend.

"What cost us a little bit today was our starts," Heidfeld said. "I lost a position to Adrian and then had to fight hard not to lose more. I finished more or less where I had been for the majority of the race (behind Sutil). 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.

"Overall this weekend, we pushed hard but it just has not been possible to get the pace out of the car that we wanted at this track. We will remain optimistic, though because Silverstone is a track with a lot of high speed corners, and our car performs well in these conditions. We will also see how the new regulations affect our car, but I think it will have a positive impact for our team."

Chief race engineer Alan Permane said that Petrov also struggled off the line and was punished more heavily, but that the R31 had not worked well on Valencia's street circuit.

"Nick lost out to Sutil at the second corner and was unable to recover the position," permane said. "Vitaly lost four places due to an early upshift at the start and this was detrimental to the rest of his race. We have certainly been struggling on circuits with low speed corners, so we hope that the high speed turns of Silverstone will mark an upturn in performance."