Petrov’s tough race (Renault race review)

The difference between the Renaults was as night and day in Montreal as Vitaly Petrov endured a tough introduction to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Robert Kubica Vitaly Petrov
Qualifying position 8 14
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’15.682 (-1.162) 1’16.844
Race position 7 17
Average race lap 1’21.297 (-2.606) 1’23.902
Laps 70/70 68/70
Pit stops 3 4

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Robert Kubica

In the run-up to the Canadian Grand Prix Kubica learned there would be no vacancy for him to fill at Ferrari, as Felipe Massa had been retained for another two seasons.

But maybe he doesn’t need that seat anyway – seventh place in the race moved him ahead of Massa in the drivers’ championship.

Kubica was the only driver in the top ten apart from the Red Bulls to qualify on the medium tyre. He held third place behind the pair of them but found degradation on the tyre so bad he pitted as early as lap nine.

That early stop meant he had to pit three times, his final stop coming up 11 laps from the end, dropping him from sixth to seventh behind Nico Rosberg.

He set the five fastest laps of the race as he tried to catch Rosberg but ran out of laps and had to settle for seventh.

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

Vitaly Petrov

Not a great race for the Russian rookie – and that’s an understatement. He started 14th, having been over a second slower than Kubica in Q2, and things got even worse from there.

Petrov jumped the start, drove onto the grass, lost control of his car and collected the innocent Pedro de la Rosa. For that he picked up two penalties: one for the jump start and another for causing an avoidable accident.

Petrov made his way past all but one of the new teams’ cars by the end of the race.

Despite taking on super-soft tyres later than Heikki Kovalainen he was unable to find a way past the Lotus and ended the race behind the Finnish driver. Kubica was up to five seconds a lap quicker at the time, albeit on slightly fresher tyres.

After that nightmare of a race the last thing Petrov needed was a kicking from the team, and sporting director Steve Nielsen voiced words of encouragement:

For Vitaly, Canada was a race to be chalked up to experience, full of penalties, pit stops and blue flags. We saw in Turkey that he can race very competitively in the right conditions and, although he may not realise it today, even a race like the one he endured in Canada will prove useful experience for him to draw on in the future.
Steve Nielsen

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

2010 Canadian Grand Prix

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16 comments on Petrov’s tough race (Renault race review)

  1. sato113 (@sato113) said on 14th June 2010, 23:51

    i for one don’t really see Petrov’s crash at the start as ‘avoidable’. it looked like he was squeezed wide onto the grass and from there on was helpless.

  2. BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th June 2010, 6:48

    I also feel, that the double penalty was a overdone for the start. His race would be screwed by a single penalty at that time. They might have given him a stop and go instead to have a more severe punishment.

    Shows how good Heikki can race, that he was able to keep Petrov behind, although Petrov might have been very much wanting to avoid any further possible tangles by then and was being a little too carefull.

    Nice of the team to support him and not slacking him. How much would Heikki, Piquet JR and Grosjean have needed a more supportive team at the time, instead of being publicly thrown to the sharks by their manager and team principle.

    • bosyber said on 15th June 2010, 8:57

      And add Trulli to that list as well, I guess. Although from what he says about “putting drivers on edge” Eddie Jordan might disagree, this seems to be a much more productive way to encourage drivers to do better next time.

    • JSC said on 15th June 2010, 9:16

      Well, unlike Heiki, Piquet jr, and Grosjean, Petrov is a pay-driver. They’re not likely to be throwing him under the buss when he was reported to be bringing 7% of Renault’s budget at the beginning of the season.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th June 2010, 9:42

        I think the difference has more to do with the Team Management (Briatore). Piquet JR. probably did also bring a substantial amount of money with him.

      • Rob said on 15th June 2010, 12:17

        Petrov may be a ‘pay driver’ of sorts, but he has a better pedigree than many past pay drivers (he could only have finished one place better in GP2 last season), and has shown a great deal more ability in my eyes than both Piquet and Grosjean did. He does suffer from Takuma Sato syndrome a bit too often, but he deserves some encouragement from the team and he will calm down a little.

        I agree that the difference is possibly mainly down to Briatore not being involved this season, but the potential future money the team can gain from Petrov’s success will be helping soothe any bad temper they might be feeling…

    • Mike said on 15th June 2010, 10:10

      I’d agree, he had to have one penalty because of a jump start,
      and as for taking out De La Rosa, well, I think that should have been a “racing incident” But it was a marginal call, So it isn’t that bad.

      The only thing that worries me, is that if it were, Hamilton, Schumacher or Alonso, This would be another argument.

  3. Charles Carroll said on 15th June 2010, 16:04

    All that said, I still like watching the likes of Petrov and Kobayashi, because you never know whats going to happen! They bring some excitement and risk to the show, and I, for one, love it!

  4. Slim said on 15th June 2010, 23:52

    Does anyone know whether Kubica finished the race with a broken front wing?

    From where i was sitting it definitely looked like a piece of the wing was hanging by a thread. If so, great finish for him setting a fastest laps without changing the wing

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