ING Renault F1 Team: 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix Sunday


It was a disappointing afternoon for the ING Renault F1 Team as both Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet ended a very wet Malaysian Grand Prix outside the points. A heavy rain storm at the mid-way point saw the safety car deployed before the race was eventually red-flagged on lap 32 and was not restarted.

Fernando Alonso, R2903, P11
First stint: 22 laps, soft dry tyres
Second stint: 6 laps, extreme wet tyres
Third stint: 2 laps, wet tyres
Fourth stint: 1 lap, extreme wet tyres

Fernando: “We made a good start from P9 to P3 and after that we had to defend our position because we were slow. This part of the race was interesting and it was difficult to decide what tyre to take when we made our stop because we didn’t know how heavy the rain would be. We stay optimistic for the next race in Shanghai and we remain determined to continue fighting for the championship.”

Nelson Piquet, R2901, P13
First stint: 22 laps, soft dry tyres
Second stint: 7 laps, extreme wet tyres
Third stint: 1 lap, wet tyres
Fourth stint: 1 lap, extreme wet tyres

Nelson: “Just before the red flag it was impossible to drive; really difficult to hold the car. We tried to call the right decision at the right time and there is nothing more we could have done in these conditions. The balance of the car was good, but the grip on the track was quite low, although we had a good start to the race. We have learnt a lot again this weekend and I now need to get ready for the next race.”

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering
“I suppose in many ways the heavy rain is no surprise to anyone who knows the area, but it brought some interesting elements to the race. In the early part of the race the value of the KERS system certainly showed, but as in Australia we still need to find performance from the car in other areas.”

Remi Taffin, Head of Engine Operations
“Today we are disappointed. The race was challenging and we tried our best to adapt, but the weather was so difficult to predict. We knew it was going to rain, but we didn’t think it would be so heavy. However, I didn’t expect the race to be stopped. We now have to work hard, but I feel we have taken a step forward since Melbourne, as shown by our strong start to the race.”

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