Sunday, August 26, 2007

Really good race for me : Heikki

The ING Renault F1 Team enjoyed a strong performance during the 2007 Turkish Grand Prix. After frustrating races at the European and Hungarian Grands Prix, the drivers demonstrated the worth of recent developments to the R27 by putting in consistent, competitive drives over the 58 lap distance. Both cars ran two-stop strategies, and ran longer than their rivals in the opening stint which allowed them to gain positions.By the chequered flag, Heikki Kovalainen had out-performed the BMW of Robert Kubica and was closing down the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton, while Giancarlo Fisichella put in a strong drive and would have scored points were it not for a first-corner incident that cost him time and track position. Nevertheless, the race marked a welcome return to form for the ING Renault F1 Team, and we will be hoping for further improvements in two weeks' time at the Italian Grand Prix.

"This was a really good race for me," Kovalainen said. "The start was quite exciting, as Heidfeld pushed me very wide on the run to the first corner, and I had to back off quite a lot. But I defended my position aggressively and once the tyres started working properly after a few laps, the car balance was stable and the pace was consistent. Both types of tyre worked well on our car today, although it felt a little more comfortable in the final laps on the softer one. The team did a great job with the pit-stops, and the strategy was spot on. Ever since Nürburgring when we introduced some new developments, we have been looking for the chance to prove they were a step forward, and I think this race has done that. Now, we need to get our heads down and try to make another step at Monza."

"My race was compromised by what happened at the first corner," Fisichella commented. "Jarno braked very suddenly in front of me, I had nowhere to go and ended up hitting him, which cost me positions and made him spin. That ruined his race, and I am sorry, but it also cost me the chance of finishing in the points. After that, it was tough: I just had to drive flat out, and hope for retirements. Unfortunately that didn't happen, but the pace of the car was not too bad."

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