Spanish Grand Prix: Renault report from Barcelona

Renault report from the Spanish Grand Prix, Round 5 of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship, at Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya;

  • Podium for Renault-powered Infiniti Red Bull Racing as Daniel Ricciardo finishes third.
  • Sebastian Vettel charges from 15th on the grid to fourth, posting the fastest lap of the race in the process. Reigning world champion is fourth in the championship.
  • Lotus F1 Team secures first points of the season.
  • Disappointment for Scuderia Toro Rosso and Caterham F1 Team, with one retirement apiece.

Infiniti Red Bull Racing;

Daniel Ricciardo claimed his first official podium of the year in today’s 66-lap race. Having lost out to Valtteri Bottas at the start, the Australian regained the position in the first round of pit stops and was able to open a comfortable gap over the final two thirds of the race. Sebastian Vettel put in a storming race to fourth after starting 15th, the result of a gearbox penalty imposed after qualifying yesterday. Using an out-of-sync pit stop strategy, the reigning world champion was able to claw his way into the top ten, jumping both Ferraris on track. He finally found a way past Valtteri Bottas in the final two laps of the race to secure fourth position.

Scuderia Toro Rosso;

Daniil Kvyat’s run of points-scoring finishes sadly came to an end today. Starting from the midfield and therefore caught in traffic, the Russian rookie was unable to capitalize on the pace in the car and finished in 14th overall. Starting from 21st on the grid as a result of a post-Chinese GP penalty, Jean-Eric Vergne was in for a rough ride from the start. He progressed through the field into the top 15 but retired on lap 24 with an exhaust problem.

Lotus F1 Team;

Romain Grosjean scored the first points of the season with eighth place. The Frenchman started from fifth and held position until one third distance when the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen was able to get past. Alonso was also able to overtake just before the midpoint and then Vettel, putting him back into eighth. Pastor Maldonado came home in 15th after serving a five second stop-go penalty for causing a collision at the start.

Caterham F1 Team;

Marcus Ericsson again brought the car home for his third finish this year, passing the flag in 20th. Kamui Kobayashi was racing with both Marussias however retired on lap 34 with a front left brake failure.

Rémi Taffin, Head of Track Operations:

A podium for Daniel and a strong, fighting fourth for Sebastian is as much as we could have hoped for this weekend. The Mercedes obviously have a very good overall package and are out in front, but there is very little between the next four teams and we saw some great battles for position. This in itself shows that the engine race is a lot closer than at previous races and there is everything to play for. On another note it is rewarding to see Lotus back in the fight on genuine pace. Unfortunately for Toro Rosso and Caterham though the speed just wasn’t there today and it was difficult to make any headway.

Overall we’ve made good progress this weekend with energy and fuel management and the driveability of the Power Unit has been improved. I’d say we are about 90% of the way on our recovery now, with final refinements to come. We’ll test these next week and are confident we’ll introduce another step forward for Monaco.

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