Renault team boss Eric Boullier has called its performance in the Singapore Grand Prix an embarrassment after Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov trailed in well off the pace in F1's annual race under lights.
The pair struggled in qualifying to start down in 15th and 18th positions on the grid and fared little better on race day, with Senna 15th after brushing the wall and being forced to make an additional pit-stop and Petrov suffering from a KERS issue from the early stages of the race that meant he could only manage 17th.
Following the race, Boullier pulled no punches in his assessment of the performance and said the team could take few positives away from the weekend.
“Coming to Singapore, we knew that we were in for a tough weekend,” he said. “The R31 was never suited to street circuits and there were very few reasons to hope this might change here. However, we never expected our performance to be so embarrassing. Seeing our cars so low in the classification today, clearly struggling for grip among blue flags, was a painful experience. In these conditions, it is difficult to draw any positive from the race apart from the flawless job made by the organisers of the Grand Prix, who have definitely produced one of the best venues on the calendar.
“We will all forget this race quickly and turn our focus to Suzuka, where the track's quick corners should make us smile again. Finally, I would like to wish Steve Nielsen, our Sporting Director, all the best for the future. Steve has been with the team for more than 10 years and today was his last race with us.”
Technical director James Allison also said there was no reason for cheer within the team after the performance shown on track.
“Today's race was 61 laps of misery to cap off a weekend of disappointment,” he said. “We did not start today with high hopes; poor pace and high tyre degradation during the race simulation runs on Friday are not good weapons to take into the race and our cars suffered accordingly. Bruno nudged the wall after his first tyre stop which left him in last place after stopping to replace the damaged wing. Thereafter he showed good fighting spirit to get back to 15th place. Although it has been highly reliable in races hitherto, Vitaly was additionally hampered by loss of his KERS early on which made it very tough for him to overtake.”