Renault put the ’embarrassing’ weekend in Singapore behind them today at Suzuka as Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov both secured top ten grid slots for the Japanese Grand Prix.
For Senna, his eighth place was a particularly good achievement considering his accident in FP3. His mechanics then had a race against time to repair his car before qualifying.
“It was a bit of a squeeze getting my car together in time for qualifying but the team did a fantastic job to mend it after my mishap in practice this morning,” said the Brazilian. “I haven't been able to get as much track time as I would have liked yet this weekend, however the car performed flawlessly throughout qualifying, and the strategy we deployed helped put us in a strong position for the race tomorrow.
“I am really looking forward to lining up on the grid, as it should be an exciting race. As I've said several times this weekend, I love this track and I am very well supported here so I hope to be able to give the supporters in the stands something to shout about.”
Petrov qualified just behind his team-mate and is feeling confident about the race tomorrow. “I'm pleased with lining up ninth on the grid,” said the Russian. “We are looking much stronger here than in Singapore, and we're demonstrating the potential of the R31 at high speed corner tracks once again.
“The car has felt progressively better each time I've taken to the wheel this weekend. It felt good in FP1 and FP2, and then FP3 this morning confirmed my sense that there will be a good opportunity for us to perform well here. The stability of the car improved around the high speed corners and the traction was better too, so I'm feeling confident going into tomorrow. A lot of different strategies will be played out during the race but I'm glad we are back in the hunt again.”