Abu Dhabi GP: Renault Race Report
The Renault F1 Team performed well in the season finale in Abu Dhabi. All in all, the weekend was similar to Brazil two weeks ago, with the exception that Jonas did not beat Peter Bohlin this time. Ekroth also failed to keep Walter in the Williams behind him, but was still classified P6 due to a late engine breakdown for Ferrari's Adrian Holm. Both of the Renault team's drivers have managed to score points in all of the races they made an appearance in, which is even better than the two top teams Ferrari and Red Bull. All in all it has been a really good season for the French squad. Time will tell if the team will continue its momentum in 2012, where a first step is to secure a stable driver lineup. If any of the current drivers will stay in the team is not yet known though.
Jonas Andersson, P4
A good race considering how things looked heading into the race. The car worked quite well, although it developed some understeer when the tires started to wear. The fight today was mainly with Walter which I thought was on a two-stopper just like us. But the pace in the second stint was good enough to be close after the second stop, and with fresh tires it was quite easy to make the move and pull away. The final stint was a lot of fun after that as I could see the gap to Adrian and Peter in front steadily decreasing, although I knew it would be hard to catch them before the end of the race. It was a bit tense seeing them fight with eachother as that battle would decide my championship position. I thought Adrian had the gap he needed on the final lap, but things didn't go his way. Obviously it was too late to do anything about Peter but it was still encouraging to be so close to the Red Bulls in the end. It was a good way to end the season.
I want to thank everybody in the team for this season. It has had it's up and downs, but all-in-all it have been encouraging to race with the top guys on a regular basis. Also big thanks to Jörgen, he has put a lot of effort in this year's car.
Jörgen Ekroth, P6
Well, yet another P6... [laughter] Seriously though, it was a fun race this time, and I'm glad I could take the checkered flag for the first time here. I was able to keep up with the cars in front of me better this time, thanks to the fights they had for a good portion of the first stint. I knew from the start that tyres would be an issue for us as we weren't able to make the option tyres last long enough for a single stop, and the prime compound did not suit the car settings well enough to be competitive. After my first stop I was able to put some serious pressure on Walter, and I almost made it past him when we made contact. I don't think he saw me coming on the inside when he turned in. Luckily it was just dents in the sidepod though. After my second stop I was waiting for a similar move from him, but when it didn't happen, I realized that he was on a single stop. I tried to push as hard as I could but it wasn't enough to close the gap this time.
I have to thank the team for a magnificent season, one of my best ever, with the exception of 2007. Thanks also to Jonas for being an excellent team mate! It's been very inspiring to develop the car and see the results as we moved closer and closer to the top teams. Too bad we never quite made it all the way, but I will still remember Hockenheim as the very peak of 2011 when we both were on the podium and Jonas won the race. It's moments like that that makes all the hard work worthwile.
Published 2011-11-27 by Jörgen Ekroth | Edit