Renault executive director of engineering Pat Symonds admits that his team paid the price for its qualifying performance after a difficult Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring.

On one of the most difficult circuits for overtaking on the calendar, the team saw both its drivers starting outside the top ten, with Heikki Kovalainen in eleventh and Giancarlo Fisichella down in 13th after being given a five place grid penalty for blocking Spyker debutant Sakon Yamamoto during qualifying.

Kovalainen was at least able to make up places during the race to make it into the points, with the Finn snaring a single point for eighth place after a race he admitted was far from easy.

"It was a difficult race today starting from eleventh place on the grid," he said. "But I never gave up and I pushed as hard as I could and succeeded in finishing in the points. I made a good start and I tried to be as consistent as possible and I didn't make any mistakes. It would have been difficult for me to do better today. I'm still disappointed after yesterday's qualifying but we did our maximum as I've already said. Now we have to concentrate on the Turkish Grand Prix in three weeks time."

Team-mate Fisichella was only able to manage twelfth place, with his race being compromised following contact with the Super Aguri of Anthony Davidson while leaving the pits following his second stop.

However, the Italian admitted that it was his qualifying penalty that had had the biggest bearing on his race, a penalty he still felt wasn't deserved.

"My race was more or less decided by yesterday's penalty that I still believe I didn't deserve," he said. "I made a good start but it was difficult to maintain a good rhythm as I was stuck in traffic throughout the event. When I was able to have a few clear laps I was on the pace.

"After my second stop I tagged Davidson and my car was damaged, so it was difficult to drive. I'm disappointed with today's result, which isn't very good for the team. It doesn't reflect our true level of performance and we have the potential to do better. Hopefully, we'll be back near the front in Istanbul."

All-in-all the race turned out to be a difficult one for the regie, with the team losing further ground to BMW in the race for third in the constructors' championship.

"Today we paid the penalty for our qualifying issues yesterday," Symonds reflected. "Heikki was very quick in the race, and on a circuit where overtaking is well nigh impossible he managed to pull back three places, more than any other driver today. He scored a point after having gone flat out throughout.

"Giancarlo not only had to cope with his penalty after qualifying, but he also had a car that was difficult to drive after his collision with Davidson, which largely compromised his race today. Now, we're all looking ahead to Turkey, the next round of the championship."

 

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