Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Shanghai, 2011

Qualifying well still important – Renault

2011 Turkish Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Shanghai, 2011
Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Shanghai, 2011

Changes in race strategy have prompted questions over whether qualifying well is less important in 2011 than it used to be.

Renault’s technical director James Allison has offered a perspective on the discussion, pointing out that qualifying poorly cost the team in Shanghai:

“Much of what went wrong for us came from failing to qualify in the position that the car merited. Not getting the car through into Q3 meant that we had to fight an uphill battle in the race.”

Vitaly Petrov and Nick Heidfeld started tenth and 16th and found it difficult to make up ground as Allison explains:

“We didn?t make quite such a good start as we had done during the previous two races and all of this combined with the result that we had to struggle through the race just to finish in the minor places.”

Allison said the R31 should be able to reach Q3 on a regular basis: “It?s sufficiently fast to be healthily-placed in the top ten in qualifying, which gives you half a chance come Sunday.

“The car also quite kind on its tyres and so it tends to run more strongly in races than it does in qualifying. I don?t want to tempt providence, but it has also been reasonably reliable so far.”

The team are bringing several updates to the car for in Istanbul: “There will be a different front wing, some modifications around the nose, updates to the air intake area of the car and some tweaks to the floor.”

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Image ?? Renault/LAT