It was a disappointing afternoon for the ING Renault F1 Team as Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet both retired from an eventful Canadian Grand Prix.
Fernando and Nelson lined up in 4th and 15th places respectively on the grid and the team was hopeful of fighting for a strong points finish, although the team knew that the poor track conditions would make for an especially tricky afternoon.
An early safety car period on lap 16 reshuffled the pack and both Fernando and Nelson headed for the pits. But as the race resumed Nelson encountered brake trouble, which led to his retirement soon after half distance.
Fernando continued to race competitively at the front of the field and remained in the hunt for a podium until contact with the wall brought a premature end to what had been a promising afternoon.
The team will now regroup and head to Barcelona for a test session next week to begin its preparations for the French Grand Prix in two weeks time. Fernando Alonso DNF"It's truly a missed opportunity today. I am extremely disappointed, as is the team, but our strategy was not the best suited for today. We now have to work hard to be in the position to challenge for big points."
Nelson Piquet DNF"It's a disappointing end to my weekend, but I still take some positives from the race as the car was good today and our strategy looked really promising. The race was pretty hectic in the early laps, but unfortunately we had a brake problem and so I had to retire the car. It's a shame as we could have challenged for the points today. Now we need to focus on the next race in France."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director ING Renault F1 Team"After a good performance in qualifying we had other hopes for the race this afternoon. The arrival of the safety car at the start of the race meant that we had to review our strategy and that penalised us, especially with Fernando. He was then stuck behind the BMW before he retired."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering "Nelson retired due to a problem with the brakes, which caused abnormal wear, but we don't know why yet and we are still investigating exactly what happened. With Fernando we adopted the same strategy as Kubica at the pit stop, but unfortunately we got trapped by Heidfeld, which made our race difficult and ultimately we didn't finish."