Vitaly Petrov expressed regret for his race-ending crash at the Korean Grand Prix, but the Renault driver said he was at least encouraged to be running in the top 10.
The Russian rookie lost control of his car with 16 laps to go, crashing heavily against the wall at the start of the main straight. Although he walked away from the accident, Petrov was disappointed to miss the opportunity to score points.
"I had stopped early for intermediate tires on lap 20, so they were pretty worn by the time we started racing after the second Safety Car period," he explained. "I was still pushing to keep in front of the guys behind me, and I lost the car on the penultimate corner and had a big crash – but I'm OK.
"This was my first experience of such extreme conditions in F1, and I think the FIA did a good job to let us run behind the Safety Car and understand the circuit before starting the race. The team had made a good call with the change to intermediate tires, and I was in a strong position in P7 when I crashed. Of course, I am disappointed to end the race in the wall and not in the points, but it was encouraging to be running in the top ten."
Teammate Robert Kubica, on the other hand, welcomed his fifth-place finish following a difficult race.
"Fifth place means good points for the team and it's a good reward for all our efforts this weekend," said Kubica. "It was a long, difficult race – and a race of two halves. The first part was very tricky for me, because I had big problems warming up the tires.
"I had no grip at all and couldn't push – I was just concentrating on keeping the car on the track. For the second half, though, I think it was very good.
"It was important to look after the intermediate tires and keep them in as good shape as possible, to get the benefit in the final laps. That was when I managed to gain a lot of positions, which meant everything turned out pretty well in the end."