Robert Kubica, P5 Fastest lap: 1:41.753
Robert: It was a very good race to round off the season. I had a problem with a clutch at the start, and I was running in 14th position after turn two. When the Safety Car went in, I managed to overtake Sutil, which was important. I then found myself stuck behind Kamui (Kobayashi), who was braking very late which made it difficult to attack him. Eventually, I got a run on him out of turn nine and he covered the inside for turn 11 – so I was able to pass round the outside. That was a key moment, and afterwards I just concentrated on getting the maximum from the car and setting quick laps. The car was still difficult to drive this afternoon, but I pushed really hard because I had nothing to lose – and I’m very pleased to finish fifth after starting 11th.
Vitaly Petrov, P6 Fastest lap: 1:42.311
Vitaly: This was a tough race, on a circuit where we know it is very difficult overtake. We have been quite fast all weekend, and I am proud of my team and the good job we did. I made a good start and could have gained some positions at the first corner, but I wanted to avoid having any problems like last weekend in Brazil. We pitted under the Safety Car, which was the right decision, and after that I just tried to push while looking after the tyres, because I knew that the plan was to go to the finish. I had a long battle with Fernando, but the car had good top speed today so I was able to control the situation: I just did my job. If he had tried a move, then I didn’t want to crash with him, but it didn’t come to that. I came here to fight, and race every other driver, and I think I showed today that I can fight.
Eric Boullier, Team Principal
We were delighted with a very solid race from both drivers. Robert did a great job to pull off the overtaking manœuvres that made his strategy work. He pushed throughout, had good pace and I think he put in a strong performance. As for Vitaly, he drove well, with no mistakes, and once again benefited from the engineers getting his strategy spot on. It’s a good way to round off the season with both cars in the top six. We have worked hard this year to move forward, the development rate has been strong and, although our ultimate aim is to win races and championships, we produced a good car for the end of the season. I am very optimistic for the future, and I am sure this team and these people can take another step forward in 2011. Congratulations, also, to Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel on their world championship victory today.
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer
After a difficult day in qualifying yesterday, we’re very pleased to finish the race in fifth and sixth positions. Overnight, we had a long think about the strategic options for Robert, who had a free choice of tyres starting from 11th position, and we decided that it was a justifiable risk to start the race on the prime. Ultimately, that paid off well. Although the early Safety Car period gave the options an easier time, it also helped the prime tyre too, and it just got faster and faster as we went further into the race. With Vitaly, we had planned to stop on lap one if there was a Safety Car, to put him on the prime tyre. We did exactly that, and he put in a solid performance to climb from tenth on the grid to sixth at the finish.
Rémi Taffin, Head of Engine Operations
This was a very solid performance. Both Robert and Vitaly drove strong races, we got the strategy absolutely right, and to finish fifth and sixth is a very pleasing result: I hope we can carry this momentum through to next season. Thank you to everybody at Renault F1 Team, who have done a great job all year, and the same to our colleagues at both Viry-Châtillon and Mécachrome. And of course, congratulations to our colleagues at Red Bull-Renault who secured their second title today.