Renault were another team where the two drivers had contrasting fortunes in today’s Italian Grand Prix – Bruno Senna scored his first two Formula 1 points by finishing ninth in Monza, but Vitaly Petrov was eliminated in a first corner accident cause by Vitantonio Liuzzi.
“I'm happy to score my first F1 points today, especially as it was only my second race for the team,” said Senna. “Although I started 10th, it was not been an easy job to finish ninth. We suffered some bad luck in the first corner; everybody was cutting the chicane which forced me to drive on the outside, and in the process I lost all the places I had fought so hard for in qualifying.
“It makes me very happy to know that I am able to put myself in the position of scoring points, and also to fight with the guys who have been doing this for a long time. The pace of the car was clear for all to see, but I wish the race was just one lap longer because I may have been able to pass Paul (Di Resta) for eighth.
“The team chose a great strategy, the tyre was fast enough where I needed it to be and I am very happy to get my name on the points board. The team did a great job and I am really looking forward to Singapore.”
Petrov was a completely innocent victim in the first corner melee. He was attacking the first chicane when the HRT of Liuzzi slammed side-on into his R31.
“Naturally I am very disappointed with what happened today,” said the Russian. “I had a reasonable start and, as I was heading into the first chicane, Vitantonio's HRT came from nowhere and hit me big time, which brought my race to an end. There's nothing I could have done to avoid this.
“First of all, I'm happy not to be injured, as the impact was quite strong and it could have been a nasty accident. We have put in so much effort since Spa, at the track, Enstone and Viry, so I'm sorry that wasn't translated into points today. This is part of racing, but I can't help thinking that we could have secured a good result.
“We must now concentrate on Singapore, which will be a real test for us. We will be bringing another technical upgrade with us, before going on to quicker tracks like Japan and Korea, which should suit our car better. On the upside, the car has felt good since the first practice session here; we definitely made a step forward performance-wise and we should have a strong end to the season.”
Renault team principal Eric Boullier was pleased that Senna has now joined the ranks of F1 points scorers. “It is good to see [Bruno] score his first points in F1, and it is clear that if we have a trouble-free race we can finish much higher,” he said. “We still have some upgrades to come, and if you combine that with the fact that our car has really been on the pace this weekend, we should be confident we can push on from here. As a sport, Formula 1 has once again put on a good show for fans today and we should all be delighted with the quality of racing we have witnessed.”