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GP Week : Issue 22
>>F1HUNGARY Best race of the year for Renault The Renault F1 Team has termed the Hungarian Grand Prix the “best race of the year” after Fernando Alonso and Nelson piquet both brought their cars home in the points. The result follows on from Piquet’s stunning podium performance in Germany two weeks before, but with rivals Toyota achieving the same second position as had Renault at Hockenheim, that there is a fight on the cards for fourth place in the standings. “We fought hard today and we were on the pace with a car that was working well, which is encouraging for the rest of the championship,” said fourth-place finisher Fernando Alonso. “We scored some important points which is satisfying, even though we could have maybe been on the podium. We must now continue working hard, but today’s result shows that we are moving in the right direction.” “I am happy with my result this weekend,”said Piquet after bringing his car home sixth. “I scored some valuable points which is promising for the rest of the season. I made a good start, but unfortunately I made a small mistake on the first lap, which meant that I lost the two positions that I had made up. It shows that at this level you cannot afford to make the smallest error. I am continuing to learn and I am determined to continue building on this progress when we go to Valencia at the end of the month.” Pat Symonds, Renault’s Executive Director of Engineering said, “It’s a great result for the team and probably our best race of the year. Both cars had to race hard and we had to think our way carefully through to the end of the race. The results and points achieved today are a good reward for lots of hard work in the team and at the factories.” The BMW mystery BMW Sauber is set for some soul-searching before the F1 circus returns from its summer break in Valencia in three week’s time. The team had struggled from the first day of practice, and Robert Kubica’s sole point for eighth place was scant reward for a team which has become used to far better results. With Heikki Kovalainen’s victory and Lewis Hamilton’s fifth place finish, the race saw BMW slip behind McLaren to third in the constructors’championship. “Of course we are very disappointed with today’s performance,” Technical Director Willy Rampf said after the race. “Now we need to analyse why we were not able to match our qualifying performance during the race.” After qualifying fourth, Kubica’s eighth place was the result of a frustrating afternoon: “This was a difficult race,” he said. “We were very slow and I was struggling with the overall grip of the car. I had massive oversteer and could not really push. I was trying really hard to keep the car on the track. Anyway, one point is better than nothing.” BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen reflected the overall disappointments. “We were completely off the pace during the race,”he said. “Neither driver was able to do the lap times we expected after the sessions on Friday and Saturday. It was the same on both tyre compounds. The reason for that is currently not clear, but we shall analyse everything.” 27