Renault RS27 engine wins Italian Grand Prix
posted on 12 September 2011
The Renault RS27 engine powered Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel to a dominant victory at the Italian Grand Prix yesterday, nearly ten seconds ahead of second-placed Jenson Button. Vettel sealed a near lights-to-flag win as he raced to his second career victory at the Italian Grand Prix taking his total in the drivers’ championship to a massive 284 points.
Bruno Senna got his points in Formula 1 with ninth position for Lotus Renault GP, while Team Lotus notched up yet another double finish with Heikki Kovalainen 13th and Jarno Trulli 14th.
Vettel’s team-mate Mark Webber retired on lap six following an incident with Felipe Massa, while Vitaly Petrov also had a DNF. The Russian Lotus Renault GP driver was caught up in the accident at the first corner that involved several cars and had to retire on the spot.
The win is the first Renault engine victory at the Italian Grand Prix since 1995 and its 138th win in F1.
Key race weekend points:
Red Bull Racing
Vettel secured the 13th pole of the year for Red Bull in qualifying and although he lost the lead at the start of the race to Alonso, was able to move back into the race lead after the safety car was withdrawn on lap four. He then used a two stop pit strategy to cruise to his eighth win of the year and could now mathematically secure the title at the next round in Singapore. Mark Webber tried to make a move on Felipe Massa on lap six that damaged his front wing. The wing then failed going into the Parabolica and the Australian went wide into the gravel trap and into the barriers. Red Bull still leads the constructors’ championship with 451 points to McLaren’s 325. Webber is now fourth in the drivers’ rankings, making him equal on points with Jenson Button.
Lotus Renault GP
After a strong qualifying, which saw both Lotus Renault GP cars start in the top ten, both drivers were affected by the first corner incident. Senna was forced to take evasive action to avoid the spinning cars and slipped back to 15th, while Petrov was hit and had to retire on the spot. Senna fought back up the field and thanks to a high top speed down the straights, which peaked at 347kph, opened his points account with a strong ninth position. The team now has 70 points and a clear fifth position in the championship.
Trulli started his home Grand Prix from 19th position, just in front of Kovalainen. Both were in a strong position in the top 13 after the restart, but on lap five Trulli was hit by Felipe Massa and was forced to pit for a new front wing. He rejoined the race and, with a switch to a one stop strategy, pushed hard to move into 14th by the end of the 53 lap race, just behind his team-mate.
Rémi Taffin, head of Renaultsport F1 track operations, gives his views on the race weekend:
Monza is the hardest circuit of the year for engines, with close to 75% of the lap spent at full throttle. A high top speed is the goal and yesterday we peaked at nearly 350kph down the pit straight. Bruno Senna also recorded the top speed of the field at 347kph today, which is a testament to the hard work everyone’s put in at Viry.
Going into the race a lot of people mentioned this was a ‘bogey’ circuit for the Red Bulls but Sebastian was practically untouchable. Monza is the ultimate test for the engine, so a win here is – for an engine supplier – such a sweet feeling. We’ve had an incredible weekend with the announcement of the extension of the Red Bull Racing-Renault partnership, so this win just tops it all off.
We would also like to extend our congratulations to Bruno Senna on securing his first F1 points in ninth. Lotus Renault GP has been strong here all weekend and could have even scored more if it had not been for the first corner accident, in which Vitaly was involved.
Team Lotus has yet again showed they are going in the right direction by equalling their best finish this season. The relationship keeps getting stronger every race as we learn how to work together and we’ll be fully behind them when they introduce some more new developments later on in the season.
Renault statistics in F1:
138 wins, 189 poles
* including Supertec, Mecachrome and Playlife statistics