Renault had another tough race today in Korea after Vitaly Petrov crashed into the back of Michael Schumacher and Bruno Senna only finished two places higher than his lowly qualifying position of P15.
Petrov was forced to retire after the collision with Schumacher. The race stewards deemed that the incident was entirely the Russian’s fault and penalised Petrov five grid positions for the next race, which will be in India in a fortnight.
“I tried to defend my position from Fernando but I was in the braking zone on the dirty side of the track which meant I locked my wheels and hit Michael,” said Petrov, explaining the incident from his perspective. “I was focused on my battle with Fernando as there was potential for me to be ahead of him. We both braked too late as he missed the corner too. Up until that point I was happy with our strategy and how the race was going. I apologise to Michael, it was not his fault, it was absolutely my fault – once my wheels were locked there was nothing I could do about it. But that's racing and tomorrow is another day.”
Senna was also disappointed with how his afternoon had gone, and is hoping for better in India. “It was far from the best race I've had,” said the Brazilian. “I got a bad start, and from then on it was always going to be an uphill battle. Being stuck behind a number of other cars again restricted my ability to get points today; I don't feel there were any specific weaknesses in my car itself but I was just unable to progress much from where I was. We will now see what we can do to better the situation, and come out all guns blazing in India. That's a culture I've not experienced before and a race I'm looking forward to.”
Team principal Eric Boullier thinks that Petrov had been on course for a strong points finish before that accident, but managed to glean some positives from the weekend.
“Again, I have mixed feelings coming away from this race,” he said. “If I look at the weekend as a whole, showed some good pace but perhaps did not capitalise on this. It was disappointing for Bruno not to qualify higher than he did yesterday and as a result the race was always going to be tough.
“Vitaly had a healthy grid position and was looking good until his mistake cost him on lap 16. If he had carried on as he did during the first stint of race – when he was on super soft (option) tyres – then we could have expected him to finish at least eighth or maybe seventh. Unfortunately it was not to be, but we'll now look ahead to an exciting fixture in two weeks' time – the Indian Grand Prix.”