It was a British Grand Prix of mixed fortunes for the ING Renault F1 Team as Fernando Alonso finished in sixth, while team-mate Nelson Piquet retired from the race.
Conditions at Silverstone were wet throughout the day with frequent rain showers hitting the Northamptonshire circuit. Both Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet started the race on wet weather tyres and ran strongly towards the front in the opening stint of the race.
At the first round of pit stops, Fernando opted to keep his wet weather tyres on lap 20, while Nelson took a new set of wet weather tyres a couple of laps later. Ultimately the latter decision proved more fruitful because Fernando lost pace on his older tyres and pitted for a fresh set of wets on lap 26.
A heavy rain shower a few laps later caused confusion with spins all the way down the field. It was this that saw Nelson aquaplane off the circuit at Abbey. Fernando survived the shower, but as the race unfolded his pace became less competitive and he slipped to sixth at the flag, securing three points for the team.
The team’s attention now turns to the German Grand Prix and the test that will take place in Hockenheim next week.
Fernando Alonso P6
“I had said that when it rains, anything can happen, which was the case today as we had a difficult race with a very wet circuit. I used up my tyres very quickly and I finished the race virtually with slicks, which meant I lost a lot of time in certain parts of the track. We could have probably had a better result today, but in the end I scored three points, which is important for the championship.”
Nelson Piquet DNF
“I’m obviously extremely disappointed with today’s retirement. The car was very good, our strategy was perfect, and we were on course for a very good result. However, when the rain came down very heavily, the track was completely flooded. It wasn’t just in the turns that the car was out of control, it was even on the straights. It was impossible to control. We have to take positives in that the car was good and we showed how competitive we could be, so we have to take that to Hockenheim now.”
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director ING Renault F1 Team
“Once again it was a race the looked promising, but we were not able to make the most of our chances. The first part of the race showed that Fernando and Nelson were very competitive and we must make sure that we build upon this potential in the second part of the season.”
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering
“Our pace at the start of the race seemed reasonable, but it was obviously a mistake to leave the tyres on Fernando’s car at the first stop. Later in the race we were clearly uncompetitive and we need to find the reason why.”