The ING Renault F1 Team endured a challenging Bahrain Grand Prix with Fernando Alonso finishing in 10th position, while team-mate Nelson Piquet retired from the race with a gearbox problem.
After qualifying in 10th and 14th, the team acknowledged that it would be difficult to score points, but remained optimistic of making progress in the race. Both drivers made the most of an eventful first lap to gain positions, but trouble hit on lap two as Fernando sustained damage to the rear of this car and Nelson spun on some oil, dropping down the field.
As the race developed both men showed good commitment, although Fernando was unable to progress further than 10th in the competitive midfield battle. Nelson's progress was halted when he suffered gearbox trouble after his second pit stop, leading to his retirement.
The team now turns its attention to the next round of the season in Barcelona and will look to capitalise on the three-week gap to continue with its development programme. Fernando Alonso, P10The race was difficult, as I had expected. Our qualifying yesterday in Q3 had been a big surprise, but we knew that our race pace would not allow us to do much better in the race. We are still missing some speed but we hope to improve in Barcelona.
Nelson Piquet, DNFI made a good start and the car was working well, then I suffered a gearbox problem. I tried to continue but it became dangerous and my engineers asked me to retire so that we would avoid a penalty in the next race. The result is not what we wanted, but I was able to learn a lot again this weekend and that is what I need to keep doing. I will now try to prepare as best I can for the next race, and try to make the most of the next test in Barcelona in ten days time.
Flavio Briatore, Managing DirectorFernando's race was compromised at the beginning when he was hit by Hamilton. After that he did all that he could, despite a damaged car. However, we are aware that we must improve our performance level. As for Nelson, he suffered with poor reliability, although he had a good start to the race. This is therefore a weekend to forget as far as we are concerned, and we must continue working hard with our intensive development programme at the next test in Barcelona.
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of EngineeringThis hasn't been a satisfactory race for the team, especially in terms of our reliability with Nelson retiring on lap 41 with a gearbox problem, although fortunately we will not incur a penalty at the next race. Fernando's race was difficult as he struggled with a damaged car after an incident with Hamilton early in the race. Our focus now is on the Spanish Grand Prix and the developments coming for the next test in Barcelona. We need to provide a better package for our drivers.