Renault: Senna and Petrov out of the points again

2011 Indian GP team review

Renault have failed to score in three of the last four races.

However with Toro Rosso taking points off Force India and Sauber, their fifth place in the championship looks increasingly secure.

Bruno Senna Vitaly Petrov
Qualifying position 14 16
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’26.651 (+0.332) 1’26.319
Race position 12 11
Laps 59/60 59/60
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 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
Bruno Senna 102.378 97.143 95.276 95.109 94.316 93.643 93.417 93.767 95.306 95.098 94.018 93.456 93.495 94.009 93.194 93.062 93.736 92.805 93.392 94.263 94.318 95.937 110.729 92.007 92.713 94.335 91.727 91.536 91.411 91.482 91.227 91.227 92.942 92.662 90.327 90.676 90.831 91.058 90.333 91.688 90.096 90.285 90.867 91.124 90.245 92.314 90.317 90.127 89.768 89.963 89.687 89.765 89.438 89.571 89.31 92.168 110.454 89.879 89.871
Vitaly Petrov 105.364 97.359 98.061 116.624 92.823 92.59 92.841 92.992 93.885 93.499 94.137 93.166 92.809 93.544 93.902 93.218 92.814 92.125 92.799 92.162 92.482 91.461 92.031 91.835 92.655 91.565 91.582 92.183 91.824 91.231 93.824 91.992 95.056 112.269 91.195 90.669 90.575 90.778 90.297 90.152 90.499 89.836 89.859 90.427 89.84 90.449 89.736 90.169 89.741 90.33 91.32 90.583 90.381 89.527 89.668 89.893 89.34 89.289 90.37

Bruno Senna

Bruno Senna, Renault, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Bruno Senna, Renault, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 22.144s
Pit stop 2 Hard 21.723s

Senna had a “disappointing” qualifying session: “The circuit evolved from this morning and the changes made to the car took me, I believe, in the wrong direction given the conditions of the track.”

He made a good start, jumping up to tenth place, but was defenceless against the Toro Rossos in the DRS zone, particularly as his KERS stopped working.

Concerned about hard tyre performance, the team extended his first two stints, leaving him with just a two-lap run on hards.

With the benefit of hindsight it’s possible to say he needn’t have stayed out so long at the end of his first stint, but it would not necessarily have been enough to get him into the points.

Bruno Senna 2011 form guide

Vitaly Petrov

Start tyre Hard
Pit stop 1 Soft 27.137s
Pit stop 2 Soft 22.519s

Had Petrov been able to repeat his Q1 time in Q2 he would have reached Q3. Instead he matched the time of tenth-placed Jaime Alguersuari to one-thousandth of a second, but was eliminated because Alguersuari had set the time first.

His penalty from Korea relegated him to 16th on the grid.

The team put him on the opposite strategy to Senna – running a very short initial stint on hard tyres, then using two sets of softs.

However he spent the race staring at Sergio Perez’s rear wing after a problem at his first pit stop: “I was supposed to come out in front of Sergio and the Force India [of Paul di Resta] but didn?t manage to achieve this. The speed on the straights of those cars was higher than mine which made it impossible for me to overtake but I kept attacking like hell to try to pass.”

Petrov had two off-track moments late in the race as he tried to put pressure on Perez: “I had a lot of oversteer which made it difficult to drive and I did lose the car in turn nine after hitting the kerb, touching the grass and I almost lost the car, but luckily I was able to control it. It was quite a big moment.”

Vitaly Petrov 2011 form guide

2011 Indian Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 Indian Grand Prix articles

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28 comments on Renault: Senna and Petrov out of the points again

  1. plutoniumhunter (@plutoniumhunter) said on 31st October 2011, 13:26

    Er, Keith… “Perez had two off-track moments late in the race as he tried to put pressure on Perez”

  2. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 31st October 2011, 13:30

    How bad the season turned out to be for Renault…

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 31st October 2011, 14:08

      I think Bobby K. would be of no help now. They were looking awesome in Australia and Malaysia, and now struggle to score points. What a shame.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 1st November 2011, 8:28

        He would have preferred to be driving I guess, but it would have been a very frustrating year for him if he had been in that car. I do think that maybe he would have put more pressure on them to fix issues soon after getting in Europe and finding the car a dog, but I doubt he would have been able to keep them close to Mercedes. He must be wondering if it would be better to take his time in recovering, maybe doing some other racing next year and go for a Ferrari seat in 2013.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st November 2011, 8:44

          Hard to tell @bosyber, but maybe Kubica fighting for good finishes and more regular podiums early on could have meant it made sense for Renault to completely redo the car to allow for rear blowing exhausts, as they had something to fight for.
          Now they were to far off Mercedes to have a chance, so it was not worth putting that much effort into the car anymore.

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 1st November 2011, 8:52

            That’s a valid point @BasCB.

            Although I then have to say, it must suck to be in a team that decides it doesn’t believe in its drivers enough to give them a car to fight every race but would rather eat in on the points gap behind them, hoping those teams are taking sufficient points away from each other that they won’t catch up.

            Last year Renault seemed a sympathetic and hard working team, with some good drives and a well working if not outright super car, making me forget why I had grown to dislike them in the years before (despite Alonso being a great racer).

            But now, even with a new management, they seem to have become a cynical and somewhat annoying team again.

    • 1 of the 3 said on 31st October 2011, 21:58

      I have to say it’s sad that Heidfeld had to hear that brutal public verbal bashing from Boullier several months ago. Heidfeld would have salvaged this season and he’s looking better with every non points finish from Lotus Renault. I hope he’s laughing somewhere at these fools.

  3. ExPatBrit said on 31st October 2011, 13:41

    Renault team is done, did everyone see Carlos Ghosn in the Red Bull garage this weekend?

    • Mahir C said on 31st October 2011, 14:48

      Unsuprisingly, since they are promoting Infiniti with Red Bull whereas they have absolutely nothing to do Renault team(since they decided to be black Lotus). Come next year, Renault(Lotus next year) may not have Renault engines anyway.

      Renault is going to supply Williams, Lotus(Caterham) and Red Bull. I thought an engine manufacturer could only supply 3 teams at most.

      • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 31st October 2011, 20:50

        Lotus Cosworth @Mahir C ?
        Nah, I think Renault can ask permission to deliver to more teams and this might be granted by the others.

        Then again it’s Concord-time again, so favors might come at a price. Or FOTA will blow up and everybody will be blaming eachother for the next 100 years for the bad deal they all got from Bernie.

    • It’d likely be called Lotus starting next month anyway.

  4. Sergey said on 31st October 2011, 14:48

    IMO Ayao Komatsu, Petrov’s so-called racing engineer is the most stupid strategy guy in the paddock.

    • Slr (@slr) said on 31st October 2011, 17:52

      I personally think Senna’s strategy was much worse, at least Petrov had a hope of scoring points.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st November 2011, 0:27

      Komatsu got Petrov closer to the points than Senna managed. Perez, di Resta and Petrov all ran reverse strategies, starting on the hards, and Perez scored points, while Petrov was 11th. I don’t know what happened to di Resta; I think he made an extra stop.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 1st November 2011, 8:31

        Yes, Di Resta made an extra stop – they underestimated his tyre wear.

        I think by the sound of things Petrov and his team did a solid job, but failed at that first pitstop. Leaving it to that single point of failure is not so great, but their only choice right now as they don’t have the pace to be well ahead of FI and STR right now, just like Sauber.

  5. TED BELL said on 31st October 2011, 15:39

    The Renault team song should be Paul Simons “Slip slidng away”. So much promise at the start of the season and how it has all gone so wrong for them. I think Senna is now in trouble and Petrov isn’t far behind. Could Kubica refloat this sinking ship??

    • tflb1 (@) said on 31st October 2011, 18:34

      In short, no. The problem is the management, not the drivers. And anyway, 2009 showed that Kubica lacks motivation with a poor car.

  6. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st November 2011, 0:30

    I’m not wildly impressed with Bruno Senna. He had a good qualifying session in Belgium and he picked up some points in Italy, but ever since then, Vitaly Petrov has been out-qualifying and out-racing him (with the obvious exception of Singapore, but given that both drivers fared poorly after a strong race in Italy and then bounced back for Suzuka, it’s obvious the car was the problem). I think Senna’s got a little bit too much good faith from his Spa qualifying session.

  7. ThOm (@thom) said on 1st November 2011, 1:31

    Senna is doing a good job considering how long he’s been there. He’s professional if a little rash in races. Kubica could probably drag more out of it but then he’s much more experienced and established in the sport. Line-up for next year? Ideally Kubica with Senna learning from him.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st November 2011, 3:26

      @thom

      Line-up for next year? Ideally Kubica with Senna learning from him

      Kubica does not really teach. That was one thing Vitaly Petrov learned last year – he was expecting to learn a lot from Kubica, but Kubica never really took him aside and gave him advice. Petrov just had to learn by watching him when he could. So if Senna were to race alongside Kubica, Kubica would not teach him.

      But I don’t think a Kubica-Senna line-up is likely. Even if Kubica can race in 2012, Petrov has been out-performing Senna with ease. Renault won’t take Senna simply because he is Senna, and Senna cannot match Petrov in terms of the sponsorship money he can provide.

  8. Goran (@goran507) said on 1st November 2011, 2:55

    First time I ever comment on F1 Fanatic.
    Want to give a big Thank You to Keith and the F1 Fanatic Team. This site is awesome, defo one of the best F1 site!!

    Love every bits of this site, and the new layout design is great.

    Keith, I would like to hear more your thoughts and insights about drivers and teams performance ! Look forward to that !!

    I am a Bruno Senna fan, but honestly his form worries me. I don’t think he will stay in F1 if he doesn’t give impressive performance in the last two races. Bruno started well in Spa and Monza, in Singapore (can blame the car), but in Japan, Korea(worst outing) and India(at least manage to get a good start from 14th to 10th) the performance are not good enough.
    From recent interviews, Eric Boullier, Alan Parmane and James Allison all sounds negative about Bruno’s performance in the last 3 races.

    Bruno shows some good moments, but I think his race craft is still a bit rusty, need more time to get his groove back and bring out his best consistently. But unfortunately time won’t allow him to do that, and he must deliver in the last two races. For Abu Dhabi I am not optimistic at all, with the slow corners of the track the R31 probably won’t fair better the the Torro Rosso and Force India. In Brazil, I hope the situation will be better and the support of the Brazilian crowd would become a confidence boost rather then pressure.

    I doubt Kubica will be back on time, but I think he may return in the mid of next season. If that’s the case, LRGP will probably keep Petrov ( Petrov did welll afterall, and the general impression is that he improved a whole lot from last year, grabbed a podium in Aus, and can blame the development of R31 for his performance in the 2nd half of the season). The 2nd seat will be between Grosjean and Bruno. The last two races will be the key. If Grosjean impresses in FP1 and Bruno doesn’t impress, seat will go to Grosjean. Bruno will at least need a couple of top 8 finish (ideally one top 6 finish) to get any hopes of retaining the seat.

    LRGP has already put the blame of R31 poor development to Heinfield, blamed him for his leadership and ‘not that outspoken’ character. Faults will be put on drivers performance. That can provide an excuse for them to get rid of both Petrov and Bruno, and put Grosjean alongside Kubica (if he returns on time).
    Does it make sense if Bruno return to the 3rd driver role if Kubica come back?

    If Bruno leave LRGP, I have no clue where he can go as well. For sure it will be suicidal to go to the bottom teams, but most midfield teams are full. And it seems the Willliams seat will go to Kimi (judging from the comment made by Adam Parr), and more so Bruno is running behind Sutil, Charles Pic for the seat. Third Driver role in the top 4 team is not likely as well. I hope Chris Goodwin will do something for Bruno…

    I have seen a lot of fans saying the management of LRGP is poor, and should get rid of people in the management. But instead…..it was Eric Boullier who put faith on Bruno and give him a chance….

    I truly believe Bruno has great talent. He is just a late developer (becos of his 10 years absent from Motor Sports after Aryton passed away) and need a bit more time to craft himself. If people give chance to him, he can deliver great results. And with his friendly character, he needs to be more aggressive at times, and believe more in himself. I hope he does well and can stay in F1.

    Would like to hear what others think.

    Once again big thanks to Keith and his team.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 1st November 2011, 8:36

      Welcome here!

      I think that one should be worried about what the team says about the driver, especially as it seems so coordinated. It reminds me of how Trulli, Fiscichella, Kovalainen, Grosjean, and even Piquet jr. were broken down by this team in an earlier incarnation – altough with different persons at the top, it seems ttheir modus operandi is still the same.

      But last year they made such noises about Petrov too, and he just kept working on himself (of course, with money). But I don’t think it really has to say something about the driver, as they also say it to detract from the car not being as good as they’d want it, or hyped it, to be.

    • lubhz (@lubhz) said on 1st November 2011, 16:20

      I believe the team will retain this line up for next year. By doing so they can have cash to develop a better car. It’s easy to blame the drivers, but they need a better equipment in the first place.

  9. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 1st November 2011, 3:04

    Just like Williams Renault is now hopeless.

  10. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 1st November 2011, 13:50

    About the only memorable moments of their season will be the couple of podiums they had and that lovely exhaust noise.

    I had high hopes for them at the beginning of this season, Mercedes as well.

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