Renault Sport Formula One Team’s British Grand Prix came to a frustrating end with a double retirement. Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen stopped on lap 38 and 50 respectively both with suspected gearbox problems. The mixed track conditions presented scant opportunity for advancement from their P18 and P16 starting positions, with both Jolyon and Kevin caught in traffic before their retirements.
The race got underway behind the safety car following heavy rain on the grid. Kevin started the race from sixteenth on full wet tyres and stopped for Pirelli intermediate tyres on lap five. He held station behind his team-mate and Romain Grosjean’s Haas before a second stop to the medium compound slicks tyres on lap 17 while in sixteenth. He made a third stop to the soft tyres on lap 40 but retired 10 laps later with a suspected gearbox problem. He was running in sixteenth at the time.
Jolyon started on full wets from P18 and gained one position when the safety car was withdrawn. The Brit stopped on lap six for the intermediate tyres and closed the gap to Grosjean on the drying track. A second stop on lap 16 for medium tyres brought frustration, however, as he was released with only three of the four wheels. The resulting delay and penalty dropped him to the rear of the field. A retirement on lap 38 capped a disappointing day.
Kevin Magnussen, #20, R.S.16-01 : Started P16, DNF
“In the first part of the race the track was very slippery and the balance was difficult as it was wet in places. You have to push from the beginning though and try to stay on track. We tried our best but unfortunately we were just not quick enough today. We suspected something might be wrong with the gearbox towards the end of the race so retired the car as a precaution. It’s just not been our day, but we’ll look through everything and come back stronger in Hungary.”
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.16-02 : Started P18, DNF
“Today wasn’t the result I wanted for my home race. It was going reasonably well on the wet tyres at the beginning of the race and then we did a good stop for the intermediate tyres. Things were looking up : I got ahead of Kevin and I was catching Romain Grosjean. When I pitted for slick tyres, I had a green light to go but the rear right wasn’t finished and I’d already started to leave the box. From then on I lost about a minute and then received a 10 seconds penalty for unsafe release. What happened was unfortunate but it could happen to anyone up and down the pitlane. We retired the car as there was a strange feeling with the gearbox, more as a precaution as at that stage we were two laps down. We’ll now investigate the problem thoroughly. I’m looking forward to the test this week and focussing on the next race weekend.”
Fred Vasseur, Team Principal
“Not the best Grand Prix in our history. It was a difficult race for us and we will be looking into what caused a double retirement. Both Kevin and Jolyon had been driving well until then, but our pace was not strong enough today. We are testing next week and will be using that to ensure we are back on target for the next race.”