The fourth round of the F1® World Championship got underway at the Shanghai International Circuit today, for the Chinese Grand Prix.
A solid qualifying from Romain Grosjean saw him start in tenth place, the first top-ten grid start for the team since the start of the season. Pastor Maldonado however, was unable to qualify due to engine problems and began from the very back of the pack, in P22.
Both Lotus F1® Team drivers had a good start from lights out and for the first half of the race hopes were high for a points finish from Romain. Disappointingly, during lap 28 he suffered with gearbox issues and unable to engage fourth gear he was then forced to retire from the race, much to the team’s disappointment. Pastor on the other hand, drove a consistently solid race and advanced eight places, finishing in P14.
Romain Grosjean DNF, E22-03: “We started by losing fourth gear but it got worse and essentially we lost all gears. It’s the first time we’ve had a problem like this so we’ll have to understand what happened. It had been quite nice in the race as we’d been fighting for ninth position so we were in the points, which is a good improvement from before. We didn’t make it to the end of the race today but let’s hope we finish in the points in Barcelona."
Pastor Maldonado P14 E22-01: “Today wasn’t my best race ever but we finished. My pace wasn’t fantastic but at least we moved forwards and I pushed as hard as I could. We will look at the data as we seemed to lack pace on the straights which made it difficult to overtake and also difficult to defend. It will be nice to have a race weekend without any problems, and that’s what we are all working for when we head to Europe."
Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal: "For Romain it was another frustrating day but we can see there is clear progress as he qualified and was racing in the top ten for points. For Pastor, it was a tough day as he was forced to start from the back due to yesterday’s problems, but he delivered everything we wanted from him with some strong lap times during the course of his race. We took another step forward in terms of pace here and we are pushing for another step forward in Barcelona.”
The team now look forward to the Spanish Grand Prix as they head to Europe for the fifth round of the competition, which takes place at the on the 11th May 2014.
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