The ING Renault F1 Team experienced a difficult afternoon at a hot and humid Sepang circuit, with Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet finishing the Malaysian Grand Prix in 8th and 11th places respectively.
After qualifying in 7th and 13th, the team had high hopes for the race and targeted points finishes for both cars, but such was the competitiveness of the midfield pack that the team was left to fight in the lower reaches of the top ten. Fernando lost ground at the start during a frantic opening lap but recovered to claim the final point.
Nelson reached the finish of his second Grand Prix, bringing his Renault R28 home just outside the top ten. The young Brazilian will look to build on the valuable experience he has gained as the team travel to Bahrain for the next Grand Prix in two weeks time.
Fernando Alonso, P8
I did the best that I could today and I scored the final point. We were able see that in normal race conditions we are a little far away in terms of performance. Our goal for the moment is to try and score points at each race and to work hard in the next tests so that we can perform better.
Nelson Piquet, P11
I am happy to have finished the race as this was my first objective after the race in Melbourne. I have learned a lot today and I recognise that the group we are fighting with is very competitive and that you have to drive the perfect race, but I finished close to my teammate and that is encouraging for me. The race was difficult and the car is still not competitive enough, but I am making progress and I hope to continue that at the next race in Bahrain.
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director
Unfortunately we did not make the most of the strong grid position with Fernando and this left us down the field, in spite of both Fernando and Nelson doing their best. The only point we bring home is no consolation and now we have to work hard to pinpoint our problems so that we can come back stronger in two weeks time in Bahrain.
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering
A relatively straightforward race, which gives us a much clearer picture of where we all stand. There is not much to report with either car as both drivers had uneventful races and there were not many strategic opportunities. It is clear we need to work hard on the car and improve it, as there is a big gap to the front.