“Both Heikki and Jarno know there's more to come from the car, and we feel good about the race this weekend. The aim is to keep our reliability and bring two cars home. I am really proud of the team, particularly after such a hard winter, so I take my hat off to every single one of them for keeping up the progress and helping us reach where we are today.”
“A very, very good day for the team,” concurred chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne, “however, we are left feeling a little disappointed, because we felt we had a real chance of getting into Q2. We had no problems on the cars at all today, which meant we were able to show the true level of performance that we had seen in winter testing, and ultimately we were very close to Q2 on merit. The drivers did a great job, and the whole team has worked very hard to turn everything around from yesterday and from Melbourne.
“On Heikki's last run he made a couple of small mistakes and we could have been even closer but, looking at the positives, we are all looking forward to the race tomorrow. Tyre degradation will be very important here – it will be an interesting Sunday for the whole grid, and at last we have a car with which we can go and take the fight to the midfield.”
“That was a much more solid performance from the whole team, particularly compared to Melbourne, where we were not able to show the true pace of the car,” summarised Renault Sport F1 support leader, Thierry Salvi. “The improvements are very encouraging for us, and I think seeing it here at Sepang is particularly pleasing as it is tough on everyone's engines, so for us that goes down as a good day.
“We have looked strong all day, especially in qualifying, and I think we have found improvements in a number of areas that have contributed to the step forward – cooling, engine-mapping and the car behaviour in general. I think this is a good result all-round.”