• Korean Grand Prix - Qualifying

Senna blames lack of running for qualifying performance

ESPNF1 Staff
October 15, 2011 « Schumacher blames unknown vibrations | Force India keeps options open »
Bruno Senna: "It's been a bit of a tough weekend so far and today didn't go quite to plan" © Getty Images
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Bruno Senna said a lack of dry mileage over the Korean Grand Prix weekend held him back when it came to qualifying.

Senna will start from 15th on the grid on Sunday while his team-mate Vitaly Petrov will line up eighth and was over 0.6s quicker. Korea is only Senna's fifth race at Renault and he said a lack of practice running, both on Friday when it rained and on Saturday morning when he had an accident and ruined a set of tyres, cost him dear.

"It's been a bit of a tough weekend so far and today didn't go quite to plan," Senna admitted. "It's my first poor qualifying performance of the year and I hope it's the last! These things happen - sometimes you just don't get everything you need out of the car at the vital time.

"Vitaly did a great job so we've seen that the car is consistent and has strong potential for the race. The car was fine; I probably didn't have sufficient mileage to push when it mattered on my qualifying run. I'm just off Vitaly's time in a few corners and that's all it takes to make the difference between Q2 and Q3. It's not the ideal way to celebrate my birthday, but tomorrow should be a better day."

Renault's head of trackside operations said: "He was fine in the first sector but struggled a little in the middle sector, which was unusual for him. We will have to look through things tonight to see where this can be improved upon, and help give him the best possible chance to salvage a good result tomorrow."

Meanwhile, Petrov was pleased with his performance and is hoping for a strong race on Sunday.

"I was pleased with today's efforts," he said. "Eighth position is something to be proud of, and it gives me a strong chance to make my presence known towards the top end of the grid tomorrow. I was quite surprised with how enthusiastic we were in venturing out again in Q3, but I was unable to complete a second timed lap anyway. This track is quite smooth, and today it offered a lot of grip with these tyres. As a team we did a fantastic job, and the main thing is we have no mechanical problems heading into tomorrow."