Renault endured another disappointing qualifying session today in Abu Dhabi as Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna could qualify only twelfth and fourteenth for tomorrow’s grand prix.
Petrov had a tricky day yesterday, which was hampered by technical problems. He acknowledged that the team are struggling with the car at this track, and said that P12 was about the best result he could have hoped for today.
“We had a difficult start to the weekend, with a few mechanical problems yesterday (steering rack then an electrical component),” said the Russian. “From there on we were up against it, especially at a track where we are not expected to be high flyers. To be frank, today we took the absolute maximum from our car. We couldn't have expected any miracles, and I am generally happy with P12 on the grid because I know that both I and the team did all that we could do; setting a competitive lap time at this circuit is tough.
“Tomorrow will be a demanding day for us; people have said that the tyre degradation will be lower than at many tracks but I'm not so sure – I think it will play a significant role. The race will be long, and we will have to select the right tactics to ensure we come away from this weekend with something positive.”
Senna thinks that he could have qualified higher if it were not for a mistake made on his final flying lap in Q2. “I'm disappointed because I made a mistake on my last lap and lost a lot of time,” explained the Brazilian. “It was a gamble to go for one flying lap, and unfortunately I could not get into the position I wanted to be; I really feel I could have made P11.
“At least the sets of tyres have only done one lap each, which should be a good thing for the race tomorrow. Let's hope my below par qualifying position doesn't harm me too much tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the race, it's an exciting place to race and I will be giving it my best shot.”