Renault caught out by safety car timing

Fernando Alonso said Renault would not have taken its early pitstop in the Chinese Grand Prix had it known that the safety car was on the verge of releasing the field to start the race at the time

Renault caught out by safety car timing

Having used a light fuel load to qualify on the front row of the grid, Alonso's strategy had already been ruined by the decision to deploy the safety car for the first eight laps of the race.

Renault brought him for fuel on lap seven, meaning he took the restart from the back of the field, from where he could only fight through to ninth at the finish after spinning when on course to salvage points.

"Today we were unlucky and I think it's one of those days when you take decisions at the wrong moment and everything seems to turn against you," Alonso said.

"We thought that the safety car would be out for the next 10 or 15 laps so we came in to get fuel and at the same time the safety car came in so we found ourselves starting the race last.

"We were on the first row on the grid and all of a sudden we were last so this was the end of our race."

But he said Renault should still be highly encouraged by the step forward it had made in China.

"It's a disappointing end to a weekend where we showed a lot of potential," said Alonso. "The team have done a great job to improve the car, which was very competitive, especially yesterday when we qualified on the front row."

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