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Renault sorry to leave empty-handed

Robert Kubica, Renault, Japanese GPRenault boss Eric Boullier admitted the team was frustrated after leaving Japan empty-handed following a promising qualifying.

Pole Robert Kubica had qualified in fourth position and moved into second place at the start of the race, only to retire three laps later when he lost the right rear wheel when running behind the safety car.

Team-mate Vitaly Petrov had retired at the start of the race after making contact with Nico Hulkenberg, then crashing against the wall.

Boullier, who said his team was still unsure about the cause of Kubica's problem, admitted it was frustrating to leave with nothing to show for.

"After such a strong performance this morning during qualifying, it's very frustrating to come away from this race empty-handed," said Boullier. "Our car has been competitive throughout the weekend and we were looking forward to showing that in the race.

"Both cars made good starts off the line, but then we had the double disappointment with both cars out of the race after just three laps.

"We don't know exactly what happened with Robert, but it's a real shame for him because he has been exceptional all weekend and I'm sure we could have had a strong result today. All we can do now is regroup and look forward to the next race in Korea, which will be at new experience for everybody."

Kubica added: "We made a good start and managed to gain one position up to P2, but then in the second lap behind the safety car I was warming up the tyres and I nearly lost the car. I thought to begin with it was a problem with the driveshaft, but apparently it was the wheel.

"I don't know if there was a technical problem but it became difficult to follow the safety car so I moved to the side of the track and then I lost the wheel."

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