Belgium Grand Prix Race
• Valtteri Bottas finished 15th and Pastor Maldonado 17th in today’s Belgian Grand Prix.
• Valtteri drove a consistent race but did not have the pace in the car to challenge the top ten. Pastor’s race was compromised by a collision with Di Resta when attempting to enter the pitlane which resulted in a stop-and-go penalty.
Xevi Pujolar, Chief Race Engineer: Pastor and Valtteri both made good starts on the medium tyre and our initial pace was good. We switched to the hard tyre for the second stints to allow us more flexibility if the forecasted rain arrived in the late stages, however the race remained dry and our pace on the hard compound tyres wasn’t quick enough compared to our nearest competitors. We also had the added challenge of a radio problem with Pastor which began shortly before the second pitstop and then as he came in for his pitstop he was involved in an incident with Di Resta which resulted in him needing a new front wing. Pastor then received a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for the incident which dropped him down the order. Valtteri had a clean race but after being held up initially during his medium tyre stint, we just didn’t have enough pace on the hard compound to progress beyond P15 today.
Valtteri Bottas: Today’s race was not the easiest for us. We were struggling for pace in sector two and this made it difficult to get close to the cars in front and once I had been overtaken it was very difficult to regain the place. We will have to go away and understand why our race pace was not as strong today as it has been and try to make improvements in time for Monza.
Pastor Maldonado: I had a good start and I immediately picked up a number of places, but we struggled for pace in the second stint and I was not able to push and overtake the cars in front. I then had a collision with Di Resta in the final corner when our lines crossed as I was entering the pits. It was a difficult situation because I was fighting hard with the Sauber and I didn’t see Di Resta on the outside as I turned toward the pitlane. I tried to brake to avoid the accident but it was too late. It wasn’t a good weekend for us but we need to keep working hard and improving the performance of the car.
Laurent Debout, Renault Sport F1 team support leader: Sadly we have not been able to capitalise on the improved form we showed in Hungary. The variable track conditions put us out of position in qualifying yesterday and as a result we were unable to make an impression in the race. We’ll hope for better in Monza.