The Renault RS27 engine powered Lotus F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean to second position in yesterday’s Canadian Grand Prix. The Frenchman finished 2.5 secs behind race winner Lewis Hamilton at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve after a one-stop strategy and a charge in the final quarter of the 70 lap race saw him pass Sebastian Vettel and then Fernando Alonso to secure a career-best result.
Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel passed the line in fourth behind Sauber’s Sergio Perez. The reigning world champion had led the race in the opening laps, but was passed by Hamilton and Alonso in the first round of pit stops. A late pit stop dropped him back down to fifth, but he regained a position on the penultimate lap with a move on Alonso. Team-mate Mark Webber finished in seventh overall.
Lotus F1 Team’s Kimi Raikkonen came home in eighth position, making it four Renault engines in the top ten.
Williams F1 Team passed the flag with Pastor Maldonado in 13th and Bruno Senna 17th after a difficult qualifying yesterday saw the drivers start 22nd and 13th respectively. Caterham F1 Team finished 18th and 19th with Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov.
Red Bull Racing retains the lead in the constructors’ championship while Lotus F1 Team moves into third ahead of Ferrari. Williams F1 Team is seventh while Caterham F1 Team remains tenth. Sebastian Vettel is now third in the drivers’ race, three points behind leader Hamilton and one point behind Alonso. Mark Webber is fourth, with Raikkonen sixth and Grosjean seventh.
Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations The Canadian Grand Prix is a circuit that is notoriously difficult for engines, with the long straight testing the top end power and the tight chicanes and hairpin requiring good engine braking support for stability. Along with the power tracks Spa and Monza, Montreal has one of the highest power factors of the year, so having a Renault-engined driver on the podium, two Renault engines in the top four and four in the top ten is a pretty good outcome.
It is also a particularly good result for Lotus as it moved them ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, confirming the overall speed of the package. The Renault Sport F1 engineers had to manage Romain’s engine quite carefully following a slight worry with an oil sample after practice yesterday, but we managed to achieve the dual goal of scoring points and maintaining our engine schedule for the future.
We move on now to Valencia, again a track that puts an emphasis on outright power. We saw here yet again how competitive the field is – getting exactly the right balance is key to success this year so we will return to Viry-Châtillon to work on optimising reliability and performance across our partners as best as we can.