Renault Sport Formula One Team was unable to move up the order in an action packed 2016 Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix, where both drivers finished the race, but finishing positions of seventeen for Kevin Magnussen and twenty second for Jolyon Palmer indicated that the team wasn’t able to harness its performance potential at the Shanghai International Circuit on Sunday.
[dropcap]K[/dropcap]evin Magnussen started from P17 on the grid on new super soft compound Pirelli tyres, changing to new soft tyres on laps 4 and 20, before moving on to new medium tyres on lap 35.
Jolyon Palmer started from P19 on the grid on new soft compound Pirelli tyres, changing to new super soft tyres on lap 15, back to new soft tyres on lap 24 and finally changing to new medium tyres on lap 38.
“It was a pretty steady race for me really,” said Kevin Magnussen. “I had a decent start and then I didn’t actually have much action; just passing people on strategy so no one was really fighting hard. This isn’t a weekend that we will be very happy about but it’s definitely one that we can learn from. There’s a lot we still don’t really understand so once we do, we’ll be a stronger team. We knew it was going to be a tough start, we’re not panicking.”
To Jolyon Palmer , the start was good , as was the first lap.
“We made up a lot of positions,” he recalled. “From then on though, it was a tough day. The balance of the car was all over the place, tyre degradation was bigger than usual and the pace wasn’t as good as previous races. We need to look in the data really, and I’m definitely happy to move on to the next race.”
Fred Vasseur, Racing Director commented: “It has been a tough race for the team and we suffered a lot with tyre degradation. Kevin was disadvantaged by the fact that he had such limited running in the dry which meant limited time to refine set-up. This made it difficult to manage the tyres in the race. Jolyon started on the soft tyre, and we opted not to bring him in during the safety car period.
“Unfortunately, he had real difficulties warming these tyres up afterwards which cost him a number of places and moving him to a four-stop strategy would have cost too much time in the pits.
“We will investigate why we lost so much tyre temperature and performance after the safety car period. We must now look forward to the next Grand Prix and continue to learn, work hard and improve.”