Renault: Heidfeld salvages points from poor weekend

2011 British GP team review

Renault suffered their worst qualifying performance of the year, partly due to the change in the rules on exhaust-blown diffusers.

However they also had difficulty getting the wet and intermediate tyres up to temperature. They also found their new rear wing design wasn’t working well in wet weather conditions and reverted to an earlier version.

Nick Heidfeld Vitaly Petrov
Qualifying position 16 14
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’33.805 (+1.071) 1’32.734
Race position 8 12
Laps 52/52 52/52
Pit stops 2 2

Renault drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52
Nick Heidfeld 127.102 115.306 115.466 114.912 115.023 114.858 114.692 114.305 114.567 109.99 132.14 109.497 107.707 105.326 103.569 103.174 102.884 102.663 101.71 100.676 100.092 100.177 100.106 99.696 100.414 101.084 100.875 100.717 100.073 96.523 116.227 99.284 97.737 97.576 97.576 97.324 97.117 97.496 97.368 97.299 97.606 97.324 97.271 97.416 97.69 97.435 97.799 97.714 97.98 98.61 99.119 100.446
Vitaly Petrov 127.377 116.413 115.188 115.44 115.558 117.195 115.236 114.457 114.211 114.105 111.254 131.687 107.461 105.335 103.675 102.53 101.687 101.918 101.432 101.228 100.753 101.989 99.828 100.057 99.186 99.014 100.98 99.853 99.451 100.09 98.911 98.624 98.49 98.574 98.881 98.426 98.6 95.144 117.621 96.308 97.023 96.844 96.873 97.123 97.239 97.179 96.936 97.179 97.222 97.224 97.657 99.211
Nick Heidfeld, Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Silverstone, 2011

Nick Heidfeld, Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Silverstone, 2011

Nick Heidfeld

From 16th on the grid Heidfeld made steady progress, passing Kamui Kobayashi for 11th on lap 19.

His two-stop strategy elevated to eighth place by the end, but Heidfeld said managing the tyre wear was difficult:

“It was an interesting race for me as I had to look after my tyres and at the same time I had to attack and also defend at different times, particularly with Michael [Schumacher] and Adrian [Sutil].

“Finding the balance between attacking, fighting and not killing the tyres was not only very satisfying, but it also worked out well for us with four valuable points.”

Nick Heidfeld 2011 form guide

Vitaly Petrov

Petrov may have been down in 14th but in a close qualifying session he was only 0.15s from the top ten.

But he went backwards in the slippery conditions at the start, being passed by both the Toro Rossos and falling to 17th.

He made better progress after switching to slick tyres, and ran a long middle stint during which he picked up for places.

But he finished out of the points in 12th, the last driver on the lead lap.

Afterwards a frustrated Petrov criticised the positioning of the DRS zone: “I lost some positions and was unable to protect myself because the traction was very poor and other cars were able to pass me like I was not there.

“The DRS section was not helpful at all; they should change its position on the track because it just wasn?t possible for me to overtake here at Silverstone. I was very close to Adrian but just could not get past, so that was a big frustration.

“Even on the back straight, there was not enough KERS to overtake so it would be better to put DRS there.”

Vitaly Petrov 2011 form guide

2011 British Grand Prix

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27 comments on Renault: Heidfeld salvages points from poor weekend

  1. M.M.C (@mmc) said on 11th July 2011, 12:48

    Seriously, what’s happening to them? |:

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 11th July 2011, 12:53

      There’s no Kubica :P

      • US_Peter said on 12th July 2011, 4:07

        For a long time I thought it would be best for Kubica to wait until 2012 to get back in the seat, and in fairness to Heidfeld. I thought if the car was as competitive as some thought over the winter and the first couple races hinted at, that Heidfeld might actually get his first win by some miracle. Clearly that won’t be happening now, so if Kubica is fit enough to race by the end season flyaways, I see no reason not to get him back up to speed sooner. Hope it happens.

    • Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 11th July 2011, 14:26

      No money to push through updates etc. When Renault are having to come out and state publicly that the teams future is ‘not in danger’ etc it doesn’t take much of a leap to think there must not be much money for developing the R31.

      It’s such a shame as well because the R31 is one of the most innovative cars we’ve seen in a while with the FEE’s. But it just shows the rate of development of RBR, Mclaren, Ferrari and Mercedes, because going from podium finishers they are now qualifying in the bottom half of the grid.

  2. Todfod (@todfod) said on 11th July 2011, 12:53

    After the first two races of the season I had high hopes for bot the Renault drivers. But the car seems to have taken a step backwards, and the drivers now seem incapable of putting a strong performance.

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th July 2011, 12:55

    While this weekend saw them further tumble down in pace, actually both drivers did a fine job to finish ahead of where they started.
    But just like the Williams cars they really dropped down a bit on the interes at the start.

  4. Eggry (@eggry) said on 11th July 2011, 12:55

    much worse than last year. at least they could maintain their pace or step forward. Let’s see what happen in Hungary where their car suits.

  5. Chalky (@chalky) said on 11th July 2011, 13:59

    Sort of says it all about today’s F1 drivers:

    It was an interesting race for me as I had to look after my tyres

    and

    Finding the balance between attacking, fighting and not killing the tyres was not only very satisfying, but

    ….
    So remember that next time you want to know what an F1 means when they want an interesting but satisfying time.
    Not quite the same type of answer you would have got off of James Hunt when he was around. :D

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 12th July 2011, 22:10

      I knew some kind of James Hunt comment was coming before I even got that far in reading your comment!

      Pleasant surprise from Heidfeld that, you don’t often get such a statement.

  6. Electrolite said on 11th July 2011, 14:45

    Quite simply, they lost their biggest asset this race. I’m putting this aside and waiting to see what the next few races bring, I still think they have a raw pace that Mercedes are lacking and they have decent shot at 4th in the CC.

  7. Fixy (@fixy) said on 11th July 2011, 16:26

    How did Heidfeld get not only ahead of Petrov but 4 positions in front? Was it just at the start when he had a better one than Petrov?

  8. F1 98 said on 11th July 2011, 17:15

    Better if kubica was still there

    • Tom said on 12th July 2011, 3:21

      Kubica might have done worse. We will never know, so it is not worth speculating.

      I feel sorry for Heifeld and Petrov, since it must be annoying to always have “what could Kubica do?” hanging over your head.

      • haujo said on 12th July 2011, 23:10

        sure thing kubica would do much better.
        petrov is no better than last year. heidfeld sucks. kubica would crash them both, liek he does with his point from 2010 season compared to these 2 guys together 2011 season.

        im renault fan and without alonso or kubica i am sooo frustrated! petrov and heidfeld are pathetic drivers.

        • HxCas (@hxcas) said on 13th July 2011, 23:14

          Petrov quite clearly IS better than last year, and Heidfeld bet Kubica in 07 and 09. And this season the near perfect reliability at the front as well as the car going backwards is making things much harder to achieve high points results than last year

  9. Renault have 3 major issues… none being Kubica missing.

    1) Poor Heidfeld. Came back in a tough spot after pretty much sitting out last year. He’s one of the unlucky F1 drivers with solid talent. It’s just that his talent was tops a few years ago.

    2) Petrov… seriously? Pay driver, says it all. If we deserved to be in F1, he should be beating Nick race after race. He’s been with the team longer!

    3) Money. The teams out of it, and it’s showing in the development. So if Kubica was back, he’d just be driving the pants off a slow car.

    Renault has a good 3-5 years of big money, big development, and new drivers to get them back to at least the Flavio years. It’s a shame, great history… but Williams is in the same boat.

  10. Remco H. said on 13th July 2011, 8:17

    IF Kubica is to return in a F1 car! Some people talk about the man as he were a god. He is mortal and his injuries are serious and terrible enough. He may never race again, give him the time to recover. Both body and mind….The impact of this accident is not be forgotten.
    So far Heidfeld and Petrov are doing what they can. The Renault simply isn’t quick enough to compete with the frontrunners. But when the conditions are right they’ll be there at the front you’ll see. Podiums are possible, we’ve seen that. So why not a win with some luck?!

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