Renault may have had a difficult final seventeen races this season, but they rounded it off with Vitaly Petrov scoring a point – the teams first in four races – at the final race in Brazil today.
However, home favourite Bruno Senna did not have such a great time. He was harshly penalised by the race stewards for a collision with Michael Schumacher early in the race, and then lost fourth gear, which made things quite difficult for the rest of the afternoon. He eventually finished seventeenth.
“What can I say – it's been quite a difficult day and the overall feeling is one of disappointment,” said the Brazilian. “I started the race in a healthy position on the grid and I was hoping to capitalise on that. There were many difficulties preventing us from having a better race, namely the incident with Michael and the gearbox problems. I would love to have given my home fans something to smile about, but unfortunately it was not to be.”
Petrov was happy with the points, but is hoping for much better things next season. “Definitely it is good to finish with a point, which was a good response to yesterday's qualifying position,” said the Russian, who started the race from P15. “My race start was good and my speed was not too bad and I was quite happy with the car.
“We came in quite early and I think we lost out being behind both Toro Rosso as it was very difficult to overtake them. I lost quite a lot of time like this, otherwise I think I could have been ahead of Kamui Kobayashi and it would have been better to finish in P9 instead of P10.
“The pit stops were better, with one very good one – my crew were working well right up to the end of the season. I wanted more points this year. It was not a fantastic season but I want to say thank you to all the team who have supported me and believed in me. Next year is another season and I hope we can work even better together and achieve much better results.”
Team principal Eric Boullier could find the silver linings in a fairly unremarkable result today. “There are positives to take from today,” he said. “On the surface, 10th and 17th positions would not seem good enough but we took a point from the final race of the season.
“Vitaly did this for us from a lowly 15th position on the starting grid, so that has to be commended – he drove a reasonably good race. Bruno was unfortunate not to have a better time of things in front of his home fans. The team have once again put in a lot of hard work this weekend and I'm very thankful to everyone for that.”