Belgian Grand Prix, Sunday
It was a mixed afternoon for the ING Renault F1 Team as Fernando Alonso finished the Belgian Grand Prix in a solid fourth place, while teammate Nelson Piquet retired in the early stages.
The weather played a key role this afternoon, with the race getting underway on a circuit that was damp in parts and dry in others. Both Fernando and Nelson opted to begin on dry weather tyres and made good progress during the opening lap as Fernando rose to fourth and Nelson joined him in the top eight.
Fernando held strong in fourth through to the finish, surviving the late race rain shower as he switched to wet weather tyres in the closing stages. However, Nelson’s race was brief as he spun into retirement on the approach to the Fagnes chicane on lap 15.
Having scored five points, the team will look to build on this momentum in Monza next weekend for the Italian Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso P4
“We finished fourth after a difficult race with plenty of incidents. It’s a good result for the team, especially for our position in the championship because our objective was to score some important points. We missed out on a podium today, but we have shown that we can be the third strongest team in the championship.”
Nelson Piquet DNF
“The plan was to run a one-stop strategy today and so my car was heavy on fuel. I made a good start and gained five places, which was encouraging, but there were still some damp patches on the circuit and I made a mistake. It’s a shame because I’m sure we could have done something today. I want to remain positive and I’m now looking forward to Monza, where we tested last week. I hope we can have a strong race there.”
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director ING Renault F1 Team
“We had a good strategy today and Fernando did everything right, which paid us back with a fourth place just behind the top two teams. It’s an encouraging result that we are pleased to score for ING in the Belgian Grand Prix, and we now want to maintain this momentum for Monza next week. We are confident that we can continue fighting back in the constructors’ championship.”
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering
“Once again, unpredictability produced a superb race. It’s pleasing for us that the car was very quick in the dry conditions and that we achieved a good finishing position through fantastic driving from Fernando and good team work from everyone. Our target is fourth position in the championship and today was a good step towards that.”