• Japanese Grand Prix

Petrov finds strategy a 'challenge'

ESPNF1 Staff
October 9, 2011 « Unwell Perez delighted with points | Vettel's second title 'phenomenal' - Horner »
Vitaly Petrov scored two points to Force India's none © Sutton Images

Vitaly Petrov said it was a "challenge" to carry out a two stop strategy using medium tyres as he finished ninth in the Japanese Grand Prix.

Petrov started the race in tenth place but both he and team-mate Bruno Senna opted to start on the slower medium tyre. Running both of the opening stints on the medium compound meant Petrov had to take a defensive approach against cars fitted with faster softs, but then he was able to climb back in to the points in the final stint having put on options. Petrov said that the last stint was more enjoyable and that it was good to extend Renault's lead over Force India in the constuctor's championship.

"We started on the medium tyre and I did all I could to maintain position at the start as those around me were on the soft. I suffered a lot of wheelspin, so with this tyre it was actually a pretty good start - if I was on the soft I would have gained places. During the race it was difficult to tell how the strategy was working and it was a challenge for the first two stints fighting against those on softer tyres.

"Ultimately, our target was to finish in front of Force India and this is what we achieved. When I put on the soft tyres towards the end of the race I felt so much grip; I smiled then I pushed a lot! Then I overtook I don't know how many cars. It's a pity Sergio (Perez) was just too far ahead. Now we go to Korea looking for another top ten finish."