Renault: Safety Car Cost Us

Renault director of engineering Pat Symonds has said he was slightly disappointed that the Chinese Grand Prix was interrupted by two Safety Car periods - because it failed to allow his team to show their full potential

Renault: Safety Car Cost Us

Although Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella helped secure Renault the Constructors' Championship, Symonds claims that the team would have been able to celebrate with a double podium-finish were it not for the two Safety Car spells.

They meant that Alonso saw his lead wiped away twice, while Fisichella equally suffered when he was penalised for holding up the field during the second Safety Car period before losing a position to Kimi Raikkonen in the pitlane.

"The record books will show we finished first and fourth," said Symonds. "But without the Safety Car spoiling our race, first and third were guaranteed, and there was the distinct possibility of scoring a one-two.

"Indeed, I wish the race had been cleaner, because that would have given a clear idea of the performance our teams in Enstone and Viry found for the final races."

Despite his disappointment at not seeing Renault achieve the perfect result to end their brilliant season, Symonds was delighted at the way that Fisichella bounced back from his Japanese Grand Prix nightmare.

"A special word of praise should go to Giancarlo. He drove a fabulous race, and fully understood the team's objectives. It was a selfless drive, as he controlled his pace in the first stint to keep the car in good condition at the end of the race while maintaining a comfortable gap to the McLarens.

"He came in for some criticism in Suzuka, but we win and lose as a team at Renault, and it was extremely satisfying to see him bounce back with such a great performance."

For Alonso, Renault's triumph in China felt as good to him as his success in claiming the Drivers' Championship at Interlagos.

"I didn't think there could be anything equal to Brazil," he explained. "For a driver, winning the championship is the ultimate. But to be on the podium, and look down and see the joy of my people. Well, it is the same feeling again."

shares
comments
Fisichella: China Drive Vindicates Me
Previous article

Fisichella: China Drive Vindicates Me

Next article

Fisichella Not Worried about Future

Fisichella Not Worried about Future
Load comments
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Plus

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Surtees became an unappreciated Ferrari great Plus

How Surtees became an unappreciated Ferrari great

John Surtees and Enzo Ferrari parted ways amicably but could have achieved more together. On the weekend that Formula 1 makes its bow in Qatar, a country best-known for staging bike racing, NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the career of the formidable ‘Big John’ - the first man to achieve success at the highest level on two and four wheels

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2021