Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Renault: Petrov buoyed by R31 upgrades

2011 Belgian GP team reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Petrov says Renault have made “a big step forward” with the R31.

Bruno Senna Vitaly Petrov
Qualifying position 7 10
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’51.121 (-1.182) 1’52.303
Race position 13 9
Laps 44/44 44/44
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
Bruno Senna 150.814 138.885 118.273 117.372 116.921 116.697 116.116 119.938 121.977 116.074 116.614 116.259 138.386 144.312 142.158 168.108 117.297 116.933 117.199 118.64 120.319 128.062 116.642 114.646 115.172 114.322 115.546 114.973 114.376 117.036 114.874 113.921 114.016 113.794 113.775 114.16 113.752 113.891 113.585 114.005 115.141 114.263 114.151 114.483
Vitaly Petrov 125.844 117.717 117.35 117.759 118.504 116.483 117.106 117.211 117.759 117.055 119.043 121.51 145.01 145.398 172.138 167.811 118.019 115.495 114.701 114.302 114.695 114.906 114.345 114.288 114.243 115.17 114.504 114.211 114.557 118.376 127.74 114.518 112.608 112.432 112.506 113.454 113.66 113.361 113.045 113.207 113.116 113.944 113.838 123.871

Bruno Senna

Made his debut for the team in place of Nick Heidfeld. It didn’t get off to a great start as he crashed in first practice.

But a good run in qualifiyng put him seventh on the grid, in front of Petrov.

He undid that good work within a few hundred metres of the start, sliding hard into Jaime Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso.

“I would like to say sorry to Jaime for that,” said Senna.

“I made a mistake in the braking area, so that meant I slipped back and couldn?t compete where I wanted to. This left me quite lonely at the back for a while.”

He finished 13th, but chief race engine Alan Permane praised his first race weekend for the team: “Bruno slipped up on his first corner, and this damaged his first set of tyres which set the scene for the rest of his race.

“Looking over his weekend, he did a fantastic job yesterday and it was always going to be a very difficult indoctrination racing on these tyres in dry conditions for the first time at this circuit.”

Bruno Senna 2011 form guide

Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011
Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Vitaly Petrov

Petrov had a spin in qualifying and lined up tenth on the grid.

He fell behind Kamui Kobayashi at the start and followed the Sauber through the opening stint.

Petrov pitted before the safety car came out which ultimately cost him places to Michael Schumacher and Adrian Sutil. And he was defenceless against Jenson Button who came past on lap 18.

He had to nurse a braking problem late in the race which caused a spin at the final corner on the last lap. That allowed Felipe Massa through for eighth, Petrov crossing the line in ninth.

However he was encouraged by the progress the team had made with the car: “I think we?ve made a big step forward with the car, and you can see that I was in top ten contention for all of the race – and close to the Mercedes – so we need to keep working in this direction.

“Our strategy was good, however we lost out on our top speed which meant I found it very difficult to overtake. The car was very strong on the corners, and we were very good on the brakes until I had issues at the end.

“For the final laps I was driving differently to compensate for the brake concerns, but unfortunately I spun right at the end as I had totally lost my front brakes.”

Vitaly Petrov 2011 form guide

2011 Belgian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Renault/LAT