- Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying
Senna opted not to run in Q3 to save tyres
Renault decided not to run Bruno Senna in the final session of qualifying because he had already put mileage on all his sets of soft tyres for the race.
Each driver is given three sets of soft tyres for qualifying and the race and Senna had completed at least one flying lap on all of them in an effort to make Q3. However, when he got to the final session, Renault felt that sending him out on a used set of softs would not have been beneficial.
"I'm happy with Bruno for getting into Q3 again in only his second weekend as a race driver with us," technical director Alan Permane said. "Bruno didn't have a fresh set [for Q3], and we elected for him not to run in order to save his tyres for the race. Realistically, we felt his best position would have been 10th anyway."
Senna was also pleased with his performance and thanked team-mate Vitaly Petrov, who qualified an impressive seventh, for giving him some pointers on the high-speed Monza circuit.
"I am satisfied with my performance because this was only my second qualifying session this year, and it was definitely a close shave getting into Q3. I was glad to have Vitaly as my reference today because I was struggling to find the right braking points in Q1 and Q2. I put a very respectable lap together at the end of Q2, and I was pleased that I was able to handle the pressure and slot into 10th position."
Petrov said he is happy with the car and thinks there is a good chance of a strong Renault performance on Sunday.
"I am extremely pleased to qualify in P7," he said. "It was a tough start to the practice session this morning, as we had a few aero issues to cope with. The team then came into the qualifying session having prepared a very good car for me, and they made the right decisions. It looks like we have brought the right downforce package to this race, although we will have to wait until the race tomorrow before we see full evidence of that. We are very, very happy to be lining up on the grid with both cars right up where they should be, and I'm optimistic of having a good race tomorrow."