Friday, 22 July 2011
Vitaly Petrov led the way for Lotus Renault GP
at a chilly and cloudy Nürburgring for the first
practice session of the German Grand Prix.
Using chassis R31-05, Vitaly set the eleventh
fastest time of the session with a lap of 1min
34.094secs. During the course of the
ninety-minute session he used both of Pirelli’s
white-marked medium and yellow-marked soft tyres.
Late in the session, Vitaly changed front wing.
Nick, who in chassis R31-04 was running a
different exhaust system from Vitaly, set the
fifteenth fastest time of the morning. He used
only Pirelli’s white-marked medium specification
Fastest in FP1 was Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso
with a time of 1m 31.894secs.
Driving at his home Grand Prix, Nick reversed
the trend of the first practice session by
finishing the fastest of the two LRGP drivers,
as the team returned to the track for the second
practice session at the Nurburgring.
The German, who continued to use a different
exhaust set-up, was eighth fastest in the
session, posting a best time of 1min 33.098secs
on Pirelli’s soft tyre compound.
During the ninety-minute spell, Nick managed
some lap time on the soft compounds, unlike this
morning when he drove only on the medium tyres.
Vitaly, meanwhile, set a time of 1min
33.138secs, which brought him home one place
behind his teammate in ninth position. He ran on
both the soft and medium compounds during the
Fastest in FP2 was Red Bull’s Mark Webber with a
time of 1min 31.711secs.
Saturday, 23 July 2011
Vitaly Petrov and Nick Heidfeld completed their
preparations for the German Grand Prix at the
Nürburgring in a cold and grey skied dry third
session of free practice ahead of this
afternoon’s hour of qualifying.
Both drivers ran with the medium compound for
the majority of the 60 minutes running before
switching to the soft compound late on.
Vitaly was just shy of setting a top ten time
with a 1min 32.777secs giving him eleventh
position on the monitors whilst Nick’s 1m
33.072secs was left him 13th quickest.
After yesterday experimenting with a rearward
direction exhaust experimental system on Nick’s
car, today both R31s ran with the forward facing
system which has been used all season.
Sebastian Vettel topped the times with a 1m
30.916s to head Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso.
Vitaly Petrov led the charge for LRGP in
qualifying for the German Grand Prix by getting
through to the final Q3 session and setting the
ninth fastest time for tomorrow’s race at the
Vitaly’s earlier Q2 lap displaced Nick from then
tenth place, meaning that no further time
remaining in that session the German was unable
to put in another time so will start from P11
for his home Grand Prix.
Grey clouds above made strong suggestions of
precipitation potential but never delivered on
their threats as both of LRGP’s drivers set
their fastest laps today using Pirelli’s soft
compound yellow-marked P-Zero tyres.
Mark Webber set pole position with a time of
1min 30.079secs and will be joined on tomorrow’s
front row by Lewis Hamilton.
Sunday, 24 July 2011
LRGP was fighting with one hand behind its back
after an early bath for Nick Heidfeld whilst
Vitaly Petrov put in a gritty performance to
take tenth and a point in the German Grand Prix.
Vitaly Petrov, P10, R31-05
“Well, it’s another point gained today, but
really we need to analyse exactly why we lost
positions out there, and why we didn’t come in
to the pits earlier to fight with the group in
front. The start was good and I had some decent
battles, including with Jenson (Button) and
Michael (Schumacher), but the main thing is we
need to look at why the likes of Sauber and
Force India are finishing higher than us, and
correct it as soon as possible. We must now
concentrate on Hungary and getting some good
points there before the summer break.”
Nick Heidfeld, DNF, R31-04,
“I was squeezed at the start and sandwiched in
the second corner. Heading into the third corner
Paul di Resta was on the outside. I locked up my
front wheels and tried to avoid him but just
slid into him as there was nowhere to go. After
that I was trying very hard to make up positions
and I overtook some cars before I was behind
Sébastien Buemi. He blocked the left hand side,
as he is allowed to do, but when I went to his
right hand side he just moved over on me. He
must have known I was there. I had a lot more
speed than him and was on my way to pass. He
just didn’t give me any room and pushed me on to
the grass and after that there was nothing I
could do. It was an accident which couldn’t be
avoided. It’s never nice being up in the air in
one of these cars and it could have been
Eric Boullier, Team Principal and Managing
“Obviously this is a disappointing day for us.
We had a reasonable qualifying yesterday, which
was definitely a step forward from Silverstone,
and we were looking to launch a strong assault
on the points today from P9 and P11. Firstly,
Nick was unlucky; after falling back to 22nd
position he was ploughing his way through the
field and, by the time he moved into 16th place,
he was trying to overtake Sebastien (Buemi) but
ran out of room and went off-track which cut his
race short. Vitaly also had a tough race but
stuck it out with a determined drive to come
home in P10. We are looking to finish much
stronger than we did today but, having said that,
one point is better than none and we must now
look at how we improve in time for Budapest.”
James Allison, Technical Director
“A disappointing race with Nick out early after
a start which meant a very difficult race in any
case and Vitaly scoring a point but achieving
less than we thought possible and hoped for. It
was not really where we hoped to be at the end
of the weekend so we have to keep our noses to
the grindstone and make the car quicker as
that’s what will bring the points. There are a
couple of minor revisions to the R31 for
Budapest but we have greater changes for the
races which follow.”
Ricardo Penteado, LRGP Engine Support Leader,
Renault Sport F1
“Getting the right engine settings for the
Nürburgring can be tricky on account of the
changeable track and ambient conditions. We got
a decent balance today and Vitaly drove a good
race to score another point, which is very
important to keep us in touch with Mercedes in
the constructors’ championship. Nick could have
scored a good amount of points as well so the
accident with Buemi was really unfortunate.
We’ve got the Hungaroring in just a week though,
which places very different demands on the
engine, so we’re going to put all our efforts
into this to finish the first part of the season
on a high.”