There were contrasting fortunes between the Renault drivers during qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix today as Vitaly Petrov took ninth place on the Yeongam grid but Bruno Senna could manage only P15.
“It's been a bit of a tough weekend so far and today didn't go quite to plan,” said Senna. “It's my first poor qualifying performance of the year and I hope it's the last! These things happen – sometimes you just don't get everything you need out of the car at the vital time. Vitaly did a great job so we've seen that the car is consistent and has strong potential for the race.
“The car was fine; I probably didn't have sufficient mileage to push when it mattered on my qualifying run. I'm just off Vitaly's time in a few corners and that's all it takes to make the difference between Q2 and Q3. It's not the ideal way to celebrate my birthday, but tomorrow should be a better day.”
Petrov, understandably, was quite happy with his afternoon’s work: “I was pleased with today's efforts,” said the Russian. “Eighth position is something to be proud of, and it gives me a strong chance to make my presence known towards the top end of the grid tomorrow.
“I was quite surprised with how enthusiastic we were in venturing out again in Q3, but I was unable to complete a second timed lap anyway. This track is quite smooth, and today it offered a lot of grip with these tyres. As a team we did a fantastic job, and the main thing is we have no mechanical problems heading into tomorrow.”
Renault trackside operations director Alan Permane was unable to explain exactly why Senna six tenths slower than his team-mate in Q2. “[Bruno] was fine in the first sector but struggled a little in the middle sector, which was unusual for him,” he said. “We will have to look through things tonight to see where this can be improved upon, and help give him the best possible chance to salvage a good result tomorrow.”