F1 - GRAND PRIX OF MONACO 2014
Grosjean climbed to 8th after an opening lap puncture (Credit: Florent Gooden/DPPI)
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Bittersweet Weekend for Renault-Powered Teams in Monaco

The Renault-powered teams had one of their most competitive weekends of the season to date in Monaco. However, despite two of its driver’s finishing in the points, Renault saw four of its eight drivers retire with mechanical issues.

Infiniti Red Bull Racing saw Australian Daniel Ricciardo finish on the podium for the second consecutive race, although his German four-time World Drivers’ Champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel was forced to retire early with a Power Unit issue while running third.

Sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso unfortunately suffered a double DNF with both Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat retiring with exhaust problems while running in the top ten. Frenchman Vergne in particular was quick all weekend, while Russian teenager Kvyat learned the circuit quickly on his first visit to the track.

The Lotus F1 Team saw Frenchman Romain Grosjean finish eighth after being forced into the pits at the end of the opening lap with a puncture that saw him fall to nineteenth. Venezuelan team-mate Pastor Maldonado was unable to start due to a fuel pump issue on the grid.

Caterham matched their best ever result in Formula 1 with eleventh for Swede Marcus Ericsson, while Japanese team-mate Kamui Kobayashi was thirteenth after being in points contention for much of the race before taking damage in an incident with the Marussia of Jules Bianchi.

Remi Taffin, Renault’s Head of Track Operations, was happy with Ricciardo and Grosjean’s efforts to score points, and with Caterham’s race pace, but the retirements for Vettel, Maldonado and the two Toro Rosso drivers was disappointing.

“Today is pretty bittersweet,” said Taffin. “Ricciardo’s pace was very quick and he managed his tyres well through the race. It was our most competitive race of the year so far. In the end, unfortunately we could not pass Hamilton due to the nature of the track. Finishing third is a good achievement but we should not make this as standard: we have to try harder and succeed. Likewise, Romain’s eighth position and Caterham finishing within touching distance of the points represents a strong end to the Grand Prix.

“However we’ve not been without problems. Vettel had a Power Unit problem from the start and lost power, ultimately forcing a retirement. We believe the issue is related to the turbo and MGU-H but will make full investigations when we return the engine to base for a full diagnosis. We also had issues with Maldonado’s car at the start. This initially looks to be a fuel pump failure that caused a loss of fuel pressure.

“This weekend we’ve made progress in some areas but we’ve seen some reliability problems come back so it will be a long week at Viry – but one we will use productively to come back stronger in Canada where we have further upgrades scheduled.”