Chinese GP team-by-team: Renault

Renault were the only team to respond to the conditions correctly with both their cars, paving the way for the first double points score of the year.

Robert Kubica Vitaly Petrov
Qualifying position 8 14
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’35.550 (-0.761) 1’36.311
Race position 5 7
Average race lap 1’54.721 (-0.453) 1’55.174
Laps 56/56 56/56
Pit stops 2 2
Chinese Grand Prix lap times: Renault

Chinese Grand Prix lap times: Renault (click to enlarge)

Robert Kubica

Lost a place at the start but rose to third by not pitting for intermediate tyres along with most of the rest of the field.

Had a 57-second lead over Lewis Hamilton before the second safety car appearance, so another podium finish was definitely on the cards. As it was he finished fifth having been passed by Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. Deserved better.

Compare Robert Kubica’s form against his team mate in 2010

Vitaly Petrov

Still some way off Kubica in qualifying – more than three-quarters of a second in Q2.

But Petrov recorded his first finish and scored his first F1 points with seventh. A spin on lap 32, which let Alonso and Sebastian Vettel past, was his only serious mistake in tricky conditions and he passed Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber late in the race.

Compare Vitaly Petrov’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 Chinese Grand Prix

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12 comments on Chinese GP team-by-team: Renault

  1. Sush Meerkat said on 19th April 2010, 16:47

    I’m a loyal fan of Renault and i’m glad Uncle Flav isn’t ruining the team anymore.

    Why is it considered a dumping ground though I have no idea.

    Sidenote, I love it when football fans ask me what team I support, as opposed to what Football team I support.
    “Renault”
    “thats not a team”
    “I think you’ll find it is.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th April 2010, 17:19

      Why is it considered a dumping ground though I have no idea.

      What do you mean?

      I think Renault are early candidates for best surprise of 2010 so far. They’re developing their car quickly and getting a lot out of it on race day. The only blot has been a couple of reliability problems for Petrov.

      ‘Punching above their weight’ may be a cliche but it definitely applies here.

      • Sush Meerkat said on 19th April 2010, 17:54

        Dumping ground, specifically if Ferrari and McLaren don’t have openings.

        Its not like Renault have won more championships than McLaren over the last decade, oh wait.

        • Scribe said on 19th April 2010, 21:01

          maybe because it fallen from their prime somewhat?

          If they had a space in 2005 it would probably have been considered prime territory.

          • Sush Meerkat said on 19th April 2010, 23:54

            Well yeah, not in their prime per say, but if michelins come back everyone knows how well they get on with Renault.

  2. macahan said on 19th April 2010, 20:43

    I absolutely agree here. Kubica is not a bad driver. He didn’t get the support he needed at BMW last year it seemed. Consider he is talked up as being replacement for Massa in Ferrari I think say lot for his ability to drive. It’s kind of ironic and funny that Vettel no longer is talked about in terms of Ferrari drive plus of course how so many believed it was a mistake for him to go to Red Bull when he probably could gotten a Ferrari drive in 10 or 11.

    Petrov show some excellent racing albeit a bit unlucky. Malaysia and China he was having some excellent racing and on track action. He was far from the only driver to have a off track moment and his passing of Schumacher, Webber was well worth seeing. He showed NO respect or fear to Schumacher and he quicker and easier overtook him then Webber did on Schumacher. I think Petrov will be the Rookie of the year. So far he done very well of the Rookies (so far only have 2 “new” drivers for 2010 a head of him but these are “oldtimers” coming back so not rookies).

    From winter testing it always looked like Renault could be the dark horse and so far it shown true.

  3. Untitled258 said on 19th April 2010, 21:27

    Ive been impressed by Petrov, i know he came second in GP2 last year, but i was one of these who thought renault had employed him purely for the money, even though its only his first race finish, ive been very impressed by him over all.

    • HounslowBusGarage said on 19th April 2010, 22:20

      I agree with Untitled. So far, I think the lad has done well and lived up to the expectations of the team and the fans. More power to him.
      Forty years hence, he will undoubtedly tell everyone of the time he overtook Michael Schumacher . . .

  4. Patrickl said on 19th April 2010, 23:43

    “Had a 57-second lead over Lewis Hamilton before the second safety car appearance”

    Not that it matters much, but actually it was 48 seconds. The 57 seconds gap is after the group from Petrov onwards (with Hamilton in it) initially got stuck behind the safety car and Kubica didn’t. later they waved them through.

    I noticed this because I got quite upset with one of these safety car blunders again. They missed the leaders and held up half the field and then had to wait for them to go round and get back behind the safety car again. Which is why the whole thing lasted so long.

    Why they cannot just get out ahead of the leader and/or just wait for him to come round is beyond me.

    Anyway, great race for both Kubica and Petrov.

    If we just look at the “sprint race” of 30+ laps at the end of the race Kubica performed really incredibly well.

    At the restart Kubica was obviously only barely ahead of Webber, Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso and Massa. By the end of the race he had understandably had to concede a position to Hamilton and Alonso, but he was 11 seconds ahead of Vettel, and well over 20 seconds ahead of Webber and Massa. All driving much faster cars than Kubica.

    Schumacher and Sutil, who drive cars that are of a comparable performance level, were over 40 seconds behind. So Kubica was on average well over a second a lap faster.

    That’s impressive driving in my book.

  5. Cyclops said on 20th April 2010, 19:00

    Keith says “a candidate for best surprise of 2010″. It’s not really a surprise for me, there was no question will Renault improve, but rather how fast and WHEN they gonna catch up with the front runners. I am very happy about the fact that RF1 is about racing again, and they do it really well. Have you noticed that RF1 made all the right calls this season?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 20th April 2010, 19:30

      I did expect them to do better, but not so much better so soon.

      It has flattered them a little that the leaders have made mistakes, but you have to give Renault credit for not making those mistakes.

  6. Dennis said on 23rd April 2010, 23:16

    Kubica is one of the best drivers in the field. Of course in 3 out of 4 races the conditions were far from perfect, but Renault handled it well. Kubica of course leads Petrov, but that guy drove a tremendous race in China! I think the’re very close to Mercedes when it comes to pace too. Keep up the good work!

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