Renault Sport Formula One Team experienced a character-building Gran Premio Heineken d’Italia at the Autodromo di Monza. Jolyon Palmer made up a number of positions after a spirited start however contact with Felipe Nasr - for which the Sauber driver was subsequently penalised - led to retirement on safety grounds. Kevin Magnussen also made a strong start and finished in seventeenth position.
Kevin started the race from P21 with new set of Pirelli’s red super soft tyres. He changed to new yellow softs on lap 14 then new super soft tyres on lap 30.
Jolyon started the race in P20 on new soft tyres. After contact with Sauber’s Felipe Nasr at turn two on the first lap, he pitted for a new front wing, safety check and a set of new medium (white) compound tyres at the end of the second lap. He returned to the pits to retire at the end of his seventh lap.
Kevin Magnussen, #20, R.S.16-04: Started P21, finished P17
“My start was okay but there were incidents everywhere… I had a better start than the Saubers ahead of me, which meant going around them, then another car on the grid. After that, I was able to build-up the momentum into turn two but had to avoid a spinning car by going on the grass. From then on, it was a quiet race with just a bit of early action with one of the Manors. It’s a shame that we didn’t get a good result today but we still learn more about the car every weekend and this race was no exception.”
Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.16-02: Started P20, DNF
“I had a really good start and made a lot of positions. I was alongside Nasr through turn one with no problem then he decided to run me off the road in turn two. I can’t explain why he did that or imagine what he was thinking. I went as far off the track as I could without risking a spin from the gravel and he still made contact with me. There was no racing room and both our races ended way too early. For me I feel I’m driving better than ever and I’m hopeful that will show in Singapore.”
Fred Vasseur, Team Principal
“After the promise of Spa, Monza proved to be our toughest challenge of the year. Jolyon made a fantastic start but was robbed of the potential to improve further by the actions of Felipe Nasr, who was punished for the incident. Kevin did what he could in a car which was clearly not suited to Monza. We knew this season would be tough and this weekend was particularly so. The positives are not easily seen on track but rather lie in all the hard work going on behind the scenes in Enstone and Viry and we know that in 2017 we will be far stronger. Our immediate focus is now on Singapore where we should show better performance than here.”