Renault feels vindicated by podium

Renault boss Eric Boullier has admitted to a sense of relief at seeing his team start the season with a podium finish - following the gamble it took on forward exhausts and the loss of Robert Kubica

Renault feels vindicated by podium

Vitaly Petrov's third placed finish in Australia was one of the major surprises of the weekend - and proved that Boullier's faith in his design team and in re-signing the Russian driver was well placed.

Speaking about his feelings after the result, Boullier said: "I am proud, happy and relieved. We had a tough winter. We gambled very early last year on innovation on our car. Clearly it is a different concept and everyone is still scratching their head about the decision.

"We had a tough winter as well with Robert, so on top of all that it is a big relief to see that the tough work, the hard work, has paid off."

Boullier said he was delighted that Petrov had put in the best weekend of his career, as he felt that if the Russian had failed this year then he would had to shoulder some of the blame.

"It is good to see him reacting in a nice way," said Boullier. "He had a couple of very nice races last year, very promising, but also a lot of mistakes as well.

"I put a lot of pressure on him and we spent a lot of time discussing things. We put him in an environment where he could understand the English culture of F1 - what we expect from him and to help him grow up as a driver. It looks like we achieved something good for him."

Kubica's replacement Nick Heidfeld had a disappointing weekend, and was unable to do much in the race after he suffered major accident damage on the first lap.

And with Petrov having being regularly beaten by Kubica last year, there were some suggestions that Renault could have been in the hunt for victory in Melbourne if the Pole had been able to race.

When asked if he had spent any time wondering what might have been if his former driver had not injured himself rallying, Boullier said: "I did, but I refused to dig more. I said, 'just don't think about this'. I don't want to put it into my head because it is useless.

"So I close my mind for it. It is like people asking me if Nick would have qualified better. We did what we had to do, and we go for it."

shares
comments
De la Rosa set for final Pirelli run
Previous article

De la Rosa set for final Pirelli run

Next article

Pirelli surprises itself in opener

Pirelli surprises itself in opener
Load comments
How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle Plus

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

Formula 1
Oct 26, 2021
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021