Formula 1 – Lotus Renault GP – Hungarian GP Qualifying

July 31, 2011

Formula 1

In front of close-to-capacity grandstands at the Hungaroring, LRGP was unable to stake its place in Q3 as Vitaly secured P12 while Nick ended his session in P14.

• The Hungaroring experienced blustery conditions and unseasonably cool temperatures today, as the temperature reached a maximum of 23 degrees during qualifying.

• In Free Practice 3, Vitaly finished ninth fastest after posting a best time of 1min 23.175secs; Nick was 11th quickest after posting a 1min 23.281secs.

• Vitaly Q1: Softs (new), Super softs (new), Q2: Super softs, Super softs (new).

• Nick Q1: Softs (new), Super softs (new), Q2: Super softs, Super softs (new).

Vitaly Petrov, P12, R31-05, 1.22.284 

“The difficulty we had was warming up the tyres because the weather was so changeable. I also encountered quite a lot of understeer, especially in turn nine, which cost me two-tenths and practically put an end to my chance of getting in Q3. It is this, combined with traction problems that have been our main problems so far this weekend. Sauber is looking increasingly competitive with us now so we need to understand where the problems lie and rectify them because qualifying where we have been recently is not enough; we are more ambitious than that, so the focus will turn to how we make the best out of the situation tomorrow.”

Nick Heidfeld, P14, R31-04, 1.22.470

“Today was again not what we would have hoped for; P14 is not in our line of thinking when we step into the garage for qualifying, though perhaps it’s an indication of where we stand right now. At the moment, we are finding it tough to extract more from the car. We’ll still be going into tomorrow absolutely fighting for higher positions; gaining some places in the race is very achievable. For this to happen, we will need a good start and the right strategy, so we’ll be grafting to make both those happen when we line up here tomorrow afternoon.”

Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer:

How was the performance today? It was a difficult day for us. Both drivers reported that the car felt better in FP3 after we had made changes overnight following on from what we learnt on Friday’s practice runs. Although we had made improvements, we simply did not have the pace here today to challenge for the top ten which is not good enough.

What are the tyre considerations here at the Hungaroring?
The soft tyre was between 1-1.5 seconds slower, so tyre strategy in qualifying was not difficult today. For the race, I expect it will be reasonably straightforward in terms of tyre choice, with probably a three pit stop race. Vitaly’s final run in Q2 was compromised; he was on his out lap and was slowed down by another car. This prevented him from warming his tyres, which is critical for a qualifying lap on the super soft tyres.

What were the issues with Nick’s car in FP3?
We did have an issue with fuel delivery on Nick’s car this morning, so we changed the relevant parts in the fuel system and did not suffer a repeat of the issues in qualifying.

• Did you know? The Hungarian Grand Prix will be the 30th Formula One race of Vitaly’s career; his first race was at Bahrain in 2010. Since then, he has completed 1,532 laps during racing.

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