2010 European Grand Prix, Sunday
Robert Kubica, P5
Fastest lap: 1:39.542
Started race on option
Pit stop: Lap 9, time in pits: 33.452, (prime)
Robert: I got a pretty good start today and I managed to keep my position, then had a really nice clean fight with Jenson – I think we spent about half a lap side by side. In fact, we both managed to overtake Webber going into turn eight: I was on the inside, Jenson was on the outside and we both squeezed Mark to get past. And then, Jenson and I went through the next two corners side by side as well, so it was a pretty fun first lap and I came out on top of the battle. After that, we got lucky when the Safety Car came out: I was already braking for the last corner when the message came on the steering wheel, so I decided to head straight to the pits. Unfortunately, though, we didn’t manage to take maximum advantage of the opportunity: I was the first car into the pits but the third car to leave. If everything had gone smoothly, we could have finished on the podium this afternoon, but unfortunately we didn’t manage to do so.
Vitaly Petrov, P11
Fastest lap: 1:40.100
Started race on option
Pit stop: Lap 9, time in pits: 27.350 (prime)
Vitaly: I’m disappointed with my result today. When you start the race in tenth, the minimum you expect is to keep your position. My problems began at the start because I got big wheel spin and lost a lot of places. After that I tried to keep up good pace and tried to attack De la Rosa, but he had very good speed on the straight it’s very difficult to overtake here so I couldn’t get by. As a rookie it’s good experience for me to finish the race and we know what we need to do for the coming races.
Eric Boullier, Team Principal
To finish fifth with Robert is a good result and we’ve made up some ground on Mercedes in the championship. We managed to react quickly to the Safety Car and adapt the strategy, but I still feel we could have come away with a better result. It’s disappointing to see Vitaly miss out on points, especially after his good performance in qualifying. When you are in P15 after the first lap it’s very difficult to get back into the points, but at least he had pretty strong pace today.
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer
Robert’s fifth place today is a reasonable result considering that we started sixth. We reacted very quickly to the Safety Car to stop Robert, but unfortunately we had already planned to stop Vitaly on that lap and the mechanics were waiting in the pit lane with his tyres. So there was a dash into the garage to swap the tyres over, which cost us some time and meant we lost a couple of places to Button and Barrichello. However, because we reacted so quickly, we managed get ahead of both Ferraris so we stayed fifth overall. Robert then spent the rest of the race behind Barrichello and, although we turned up the engine towards the end of the race, it’s so difficult to overtake here and we had to settle for fifth. As for Vitaly, he lost places on the first lap which made for a tough race. He recovered a couple of places at the pit stop, but just missed out on points today.
Rémi Taffin, Head of Engine Operations
For this race Vitaly had a fresh engine, while Robert’s V8 was on its second race. Despite it being a very hot afternoon, there were no issues with the engine and we were able to get the full performance from them for the whole race. In terms of the result today, the points we have scored over Mercedes are important and we have taken 10 points out of their lead. The only disappointment is that we could have come away with a better result because some of competitors did a better job during the pit stops under the Safety Car. Looking ahead, we will continue pushing hard to develop the car for the next race, as we have done all season.