Force India German Grand Prix 2011

July 24, 2011

2011 German Grand Prix Race Report – 24 July

Force India delivered another excellent performance today as Adrian Sutil raced to a superb sixth place in the German Grand Prix. Teammate Paul Di Resta was the victim of a first lap crash, but recovered to finish P13. The eight points scored today move the team into 7th place in the Constructors’ Championship.

P6 Adrian Sutil, VJM04/04
Tyre strategy:option, option, prime

Adrian:  “It was a great race today and I’m so pleased to get this result for the team because we really deserved it. We had a great car all weekend and everything just went perfectly. The tyres lasted well and we definitely made the right calls with the strategy, which helped me beat Nico [Rosberg] in the final stint. It was actually quite a lonely race for me because I spent most of the time running in clean air so I could really show the potential of the car. To get this result in my home race also makes it extra special and I’d like to thank the fans for their support this weekend. But this is just the start because we still have lots of work to do in the coming races to score lots of points and catch up with the teams ahead of us.”

P13 Paul Di Resta, VJM04/02
Tyre strategy: option, option, prime

Paul: “Once again it’s a frustrating end to my weekend because I had a great chance to score some points today. I made a reasonable start, maintained my position and I was racing with Michael into the first corner. Then I got hit from behind, which must have been Nick [Heidfeld], and that spun me around and compromised my race. It’s a shame because we came here with a great package and we had a good strategy for the race. I pushed hard to recover, but points were just out of reach today. The good news is that Adrian has brought in a lot of points and shown just how competitive the car is.”

Dr. Vijay Mallya, Chairman and Team Principal
“Today has been a wonderful team performance and I’m delighted to see Adrian finish in sixth place – a result that everybody has been working hard to achieve. We have been a bit unlucky in the last few races, but today we demonstrated the true pace of the car and delivered the result to match it. The only frustration is that Paul was the unfortunate victim of a first lap accident with Heidfeld. Without this, I’m sure we could have had both Force Indias finish in the points. Even so, we welcome the eight points scored today – points that are important for our championship position and move us ahead of Toro Rosso.”

Ferrari Report British Grand Prix 2011

July 12, 2011

Microsoft Word - CARTA_INTESTATA_F1_2011.doc

Microsoft Word - CARTA_INTESTATA_F1_2011.doc

Di Resta Angry at Drive-Through Penalty

June 15, 2011

Photo Courtesy of Force India Formula 1 Team

Paul Di Resta feels that his drive-through penalty at the Canadian Grand Prix, his second in two races, was unjustified “It’s not even harsh, it’s ridiculous. I’d had a chance of passing Heidfeld the lap before the incident but thought I’d bide my time.

“I got another run on him, got alongside him, but where he was trying to brake and what he was trying to do, he was never going to make the chicane and he took my front wing off so I had to stop for a wing change and I got a drive-through penalty, which again I thought was harsh.

“I don’t see how I was at fault for that. He came in front of me, yet I still made the corner and he didn’t and all that happened was the front-wing end plate came off, so I didn’t batter him.

“Obviously I’m going to be down and disappointed, but when I arrive at the next grand prix I have to be fully focused on trying to achieve more.

“This time, I feel it was definitely not deserving of a drive-through, which was precious in terms of time.

“It definitely needs investigating. We live to fight another day. I’ve just got to give myself a few days before I think too much about it. It’s tough because the decision was hard, but I can’t beat myself up too much about it.”

Lotus Renault Preview Spanish Grand Prix 2011

May 18, 2011

Lotus Renault R31

Nick Heidfeld, Renault
2010 Qualifying – n/a, 2010 Race – n/a

“We will be bringing some more new parts, which will help us improve our performance. This is all part of our ongoing aggressive development strategy. Also, we will get into the swing of things quickly because the whole team knows the circuit well, and teams using a simulator won’t have such an advantage here. Over the years I have enjoyed some good races in Spain – it’s a challenging track and it will be interesting to return. I have got many memories – one that I particularly remember is a pit-lane battle with Jenson (Button) when we were both exiting at the same time, both at the highest speed limit you are allowed and I think I just got out ahead of him.”

Vitaly Petrov, Renault
2010 Qualifying – 14th, 2010 Race – 11th

“I’ve been at this track many times before, and I have a lot of experience of racing here in GP2 and F3000 when I won some podiums. I’ve also driven here in Formula One, and of course the testing earlier this year. However, the weather then (during testing) was quite cold so the preparation this time around will be different. It’s going to be an interesting weekend because everyone knows this track quite well, so it will be a close fight and the lap time gaps will be quite small.”

Eric Boullier, Renault team principal
“Since we last drove there in testing, we have added upgrades to the car so we will be performing better than in the winter. The situation is also different: it is a race weekend and the way we approach this is different from testing. We hope to make another step forward to fight again for the top six. I think that with the DRS, anything is possible. Mainly because of the tyre degradation, there is a need for some aggressive strategies that allow overtaking on track and of course a very good race finish too.”

Heidfeld Settling In at Lotus Renault

April 30, 2011

Lotus Renault R31

Nick Heidfeld isn’t happy with artificial aids to assist overtaking: “Well, like with everything, the more you use it the easier it gets but we’re still working on getting the perfect switch positions which we should have ready for Turkey. I think it’s all working fine and going to plan, even though I’m not a fan of the rear wing because I don’t particularly like things which artificially aim to improve racing.

“The biggest difference is the tyres. With the rear wing active and the car in front having similar tyres, overtaking might still be difficult which is exactly as what was planned with DRS, however if you have fresher tyres it might be much easier to overtake.

“I think we’ve seen far more overtaking than in the past.

“Everything has gone so fast since February, which means that it’s been a very quick learning process. I joined the team for most of the winter tests and then went straight to the first race.

“It’s an ongoing challenge to have everything working perfectly at once but having said this, I’m impressed by the quality of the relationship we’ve built up over just a few weeks.

“People at Lotus Renault GP really want the driver to feel comfortable in the car and they give you a lot of confidence. They’ve really listened, as have I, and this has helped us develop constructively as a team. Above all, I’m really enjoying this open, two-way approach that we have.”

“I think we’ve shown over the first three races that we have a good car and Istanbul could be very interesting because it is the first European race and a lot of teams will bring updates, including us,” he said. Hopefully we’ll be able to give a good performance again.”

Lotus Renault to bring Upgrades to Turkey

April 29, 2011

Lotus Renault R31

Nick Heidfeld believes that the Lotus Renault has more to give: “It’s been a bit up and down. On the positive side, the car is very innovative and it is quick. It is also responding well to set-up changes, it has got a good straight-line speed and has already proved to be competitive on different track layouts.

“We’ve already achieved two podiums from three races, which is a real plus but on the other side, we haven’t yet fulfilled our potential and I hope both we, as a team, and I can improve on that. The first three races gave us a good picture of our strengths and weaknesses, and with the break we’ve just had we’ve been able to analyse where we can improve further.

“I think we’ve shown over the first three races that we have a good car and Istanbul could be very interesting because it is the first European race and a lot of teams will bring updates, including us. Hopefully we’ll be able to give a good performance again.

His team mate, Vitali Petrov ramains confident: “We’re expecting upgrades for Turkey which is good, and of course the other teams will react too and work hard to beat us. We’ll be doubling our efforts in order to catch the teams in front. You never know what can happen during a race weekend but both my team and I will fight hard.”

Eric Boullier, the Team Principal, is looking for victory: “I think that they can do even better. During the last three races, they were still getting to know the car and they showed good pace and results. I’m pretty sure that they now have the near-to-victory taste in their mouths so they need to keep on pushing. I know the team is absolutely 100% behind both of them to help pushing them to deliver.”

 

Lotus Renault Must Improve

April 26, 2011

Lotus Renault R31

Eric Boullier, Lotus Renault’s Team Principal,  knows that the car has pace but needs reliability. “If you look at Q2, Vitaly’s pace showed where we should have been. If we have this pace, then we need to have perfect weekends.

“We cannot afford to have any bad weekends and definitely to have a perfect weekend we need to be ready to cope with everything.

“If you want to play with the big boys, then we have to be there and we have to run perfectly. Let’s say we took it wrong from the beginning. We just couldn’t do it. I don’t want to upset the guys obviously, but we had a couple of things wrong that definitely we have not been able to handle or react to accordingly.

“Vitaly’s engine problem was not our fault obviously, but we could have clearly briefed our drivers on how to get rid of this but that was not done.

“That incident affected Heidfeld’s qualifying, and it was a snowball effect from then on. Everything was going wrong, and during the race it was the same. Starting 10th and 16th we could have maybe been a bit more aggressive on the strategy.

“There is clearly something to investigate in the way Rosberg did it for example, because he was six seconds off Button before pitting and then when everybody pitted he was five seconds ahead of everybody.

“Then you look at Hamilton, with his strategy, to save one set of tyres as he did was brave. As soon as you pit, you can gain an advantage of five to eight seconds over your competitors, and that changes a lot the position on track.

“So if you are clear ahead and have clear laps, then you just pull away because the traffic is not affecting your pace. Our people are very good on strategy, but I think with the Pirelli degradation we just need to handle the weekend differently.

“It’s the famous rear wing. For us, with three weeks to go, we should have a good upgrade on the car but everyone will be the same.

“We definitely would like to keep our position and fighting for fifth or sixth place. That would be a good step.”

 

Lotus Renault Aware of Limitations

April 20, 2011

Lotus Renault R31

Eric Boullier, Lotus Renault’s team principal was frustrated by the team’s inability to overcome problems during the Chinese Grand prix: “If you look at Q2, Vitaly’s pace showed where we should have been. If we have this pace, then we need to have perfect weekends.

“We cannot afford to have any bad weekends and definitely to have a perfect weekend we need to be ready to cope with everything.

“If you want to play with the big boys, then we have to be there and we have to run perfectly.”

“Let’s say we took it wrong from the beginning. We just couldn’t do it. I don’t want to upset the guys obviously, but we had a couple of things wrong that definitely we have not been able to handle or react to accordingly.

“Vitaly’s engine problem was not our fault obviously, but we could have clearly briefed our drivers on how to get rid of this but that was not done.

“That incident affected Heidfeld’s qualifying, and it was a snowball effect from then on. Everything was going wrong, and during the race it was the same. Starting 10th and 16th we could have maybe been a bit more aggressive on the strategy.

“There is clearly something to investigate in the way Rosberg did it for example, because he was six seconds off Button before pitting and then when everybody pitted he was five seconds ahead of everybody.

“Then you look at Hamilton, with his strategy, to save one set of tyres as he did was brave. As soon as you pit, you can gain an advantage of five to eight seconds over your competitors, and that changes a lot the position on track.

“So if you are clear ahead and have clear laps, then you just pull away because the traffic is not affecting your pace. Our people are very good on strategy, but I think with the Pirelli degradation we just need to handle the weekend differently.”

“It’s the famous rear wing. For us, with three weeks to go, we should have a good upgrade on the car but everyone will be the same.

“We definitely would like to keep our position and fighting for fifth or sixth place. That would be a good step.”

 

McLaren’s Malaysian Grand Prix 2011

April 10, 2011

clip_image001

2011 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX

“WE’RE ENCOURAGED THAT WE HAVE A GOOD, STRONG PACKAGE”

Sepang, Sunday April 10

JENSON BUTTON

MP4-26A-04

Started: 4th

Finished: 2nd

Fastest lap: 1m41.264s (+ 0.693s,4th)

Pitstops: Three: laps 12, 24 and 37 (Op-Op-Op-Pr)

2011 points: 26 (2nd)

“This has been an extremely encouraging weekend for us. It’s very satisfying to come away with a good lot of world championship points – everyone in the team has done an amazing job and we should feel very proud of ourselves.

“Today’s race was all about looking after the tyres. On the way to the grid, I purposely took a lot of front wing out of the car, which was a mistake because I had massive understeer for the first stint, which also hurt the rear tyres. I just got the balance wrong.

“So at each pitstop, I dialled in more front wing and my pace kept getting better and better. At the end, the Prime tyre was really working for me. I knew Lewis had a problem in one of his pitstops and that I would be able to come out in front of him, but my pace was very good anyway. It was a great afternoon.

“In the closing laps, the team told me to take it easy on the tyres, but I chased down Sebastian [Vettel] as much as I could all the same – still, it wasn’t quite enough.

“We should all feel very encouraged that we have a good, strong package. I still don’t think we’re getting the best from it yet – but I hope we will in China, and that Lewis and I will both have great races.”

LEWIS HAMILTON

MP4-26A-01

Started: 2nd

Finished: 7th

Fastest lap: 1m41.512s (+ 0.941s, 5th)

Pitstops: Four: laps 12, 24, 37 and 52 (Op-Op-Pr-Pr-Pr)

2011 points: 22 (=3rd)

“Today was just one of those days. It’s never satisfying to start second and finish seventh, but that’s racing. We just have to take it on the chin and move on from it.

“At the start, I was on the outside going into the first corner, I got squeezed and it was difficult to defend without risking hitting Jenson or Nick [Heidfeld]. Then, during the race, my tyres kept dropping off; we pitted earlier than was optimal, and ran out of tyres at the end. I’d hoped to make the end of the race on a set of used Primes, but they didn’t last so we had to pit right at the end of the race.

“There were a lot of factors that made this afternoon very difficult: the delay at the pitstop, being chased by a couple of cars when I was trying to look after my tyres, and being hit from behind by Fernando [Alonso]. I think he got a bit too close, and, when he pulled out, he just clipped me with his wing and broke my car’s rear floor. I don’t how much downforce that lost me.

“Today wasn’t the greatest of days, but I’m going to China aiming to win; I’m only looking forwards.”

MARTIN WHITMARSH

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Jenson drove a truly excellent race today, pushing hard when it was appropriate to do so but also conserving his tyres when necessary, and the result was a very well deserved second place.

“Lewis had a difficult afternoon, his frustrations beginning at the very first corner of the very first lap, when Nick unexpectedly nipped past him from way back in sixth place on the starting grid. After that, he [Lewis] tried his utmost to reclaim the place, nearly doing so on a number of occasions, but inevitably his tyre conservation was compromised in the process.

“But that’s racing – and, for Lewis, I guess it was just one of those days. For example, we performed a total of seven pitstops today, six of them in under four seconds but one in around six seconds, and as luck would have it that slower one was one of Lewis’s pitstops. Equally, we weren’t able to give him a second stint on Option tyres today because they’d been damaged in qualifying yesterday.

“Towards the end of the race Lewis was struggling on Prime tyres – and, although from a conventional point of view a further pitstop looked like an unattractive option, it was what he was calling for and in truth it was probably therefore the safest thing to do. Tyre drop-off was a problem for everyone today, and ultimately you have to listen to your driver in such situations.

“Having said all that, 22 world championship points is a useful haul, and it gives us something to build on when we arrive in Shanghai in a few days’ time. The team has done a fantastic job over the past few weeks – well done again, guys – and, if we can maintain that momentum from here on in, then we can definitely take the fight to Red Bull next weekend.

“Last but not least, I want to pay tribute to Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, whose V8 engine and KERS Hybrid performed superbly all weekend, and also to ExxonMobil, whose fuel and Mobil 1 lubricant were significant factors in ensuring excellent engine cooling and reliability in the very hot and humid conditions we always face here in Sepang.”

Lotus Renault Excited about Melbourne

March 23, 2011

Nick Heidfeld commented: “I always enjoy coming to Australia. It’s my favourite place to travel to on the calendar because the people are relaxed and there’s always a warm atmosphere. I think we have a quick car, but like every team on the grid we have had a few issues to cope with during the tests, especially in terms of reliability.

“We have an idea of where we stand, but nobody knows exactly. I think we have good performance in the car and everything is working well. I hope we can fight for podiums from the start of the season.”

His team mate Vitaly Petrov stated: “It’s a good place to start the year. The fans are crazy about F1, the grandstands are full and it’s clear that the country loves the race. I feel much better prepared. I have experience, I know the team very well and I understand more about Formula One.

Lotus Renault R31

The R31 is certainly a big step forward. I think our solutions are good and I believe we can be competitive. The guys have down a great car with this car. It’s strong, aggressive and innovative. We believe we are closer to the front than we were last season.”

Lotus Renault’s Team Principal, Eric Boullier, was feeling very positive: “I feel excited. We had a tough winter with a lot of unfortunate and unexpected news but we have reacted quickly and we are ready for the season. We have done an enormous amount of work over the last few weeks to really understand this car and get the performance from it.

“What I can say is that we are clearly in better shape in terms of ultimate performance compared to last year, which was our target. The R31 is very different from anything the team has produced before and we’re very proud of that.”

Technical Director, James Allison agreed: “I’m pleased that we achieved what we set out to achieve, which was to assess all the new elements of the car and get through the pre-season test programme. But I won’t be fully content until we’ve actually demonstrated in racing conditions that everything is working properly, the car is reliable and we get to the flag showing good pace.”

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