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Mark H

2013 Japanese Grand Prix, Saturday

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Romain Grosjean qualified P4 with team-mate Kimi Räikkönen P9 ahead of tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix. Warm, dry conditions remained throughout the day at the Suzuka circuit, with changing wind direction a factor throughout proceedings.

Romain put in an impressive lap on the hard compound tyre to go fastest in the red flag interrupted Q1 session with Kimi taking P8. The Frenchman then edged a tight intra-team Q2 battle to take P3 from his Finnish counterpart’s P5, with both posting laps within three tenths of one another in the final Q3 session to end the day in P4 / P9.

Kimi Räikkönen, E21-05
Q: P9, 1:31.684
FP3: P8, 1:32.946

 

“The car has felt much better here than it has in recent races; even if we don’t have a better position on the grid for tomorrow. A small mistake on my quick lap cost me a little bit of time and it’s very close here, so a small amount lost can mean quite a few positions dropped. We’ll have to see what happens in the race, but the car has certainly been more to my liking this weekend so the position on the grid is not a drama.”

Romain Grosjean, E21-04
Q: P4, 1:31.365
FP3: P4, 1:32.707

 

“The Red Bulls have looked very strong and we knew it would be tight with Lewis [Hamilton] for P3, so I think we did a good job to take P4. The car feels much better than it did yesterday; especially on the hard tyres which we had been struggling with previously but were then fastest with in Q1 today. The team worked hard to address this overnight and we’ve shown great progress through the weekend once again. It’s a tight, technical circuit, the wind is still making things tricky and it should stay pretty hot, so it’ll be interesting to see what we can do in the race. I’m feeling pretty good.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “We’re now very happy on both tyre compounds”

How was qualifying for the team?
Today went reasonably to plan with both drivers in the top ten for tomorrow’s race. Romain continued his good qualifying form and P4 on the grid is a good result, but agonisingly close to P3 once again. It was a very close qualifying session so to have Kimi start P9 is no big drama; especially as we know how well he can work through the field in race conditions.

How much progress has been made since yesterday?
After missing some long runs on Friday, we spent more time on race preparation during morning practice and managed to unlock some extra pace in the car – especially on the primes – so we’re now very happy on both compounds. Yes, we did struggle with the hard tyres yesterday, but we’ve made a significant setup change which has certainly been beneficial in this area. Both drivers are much happier with their cars.

What are the strategic permutations tomorrow?
The weather forecast looks fine, while the wind – which is often a factor here – looks to be coming from a similar direction to today although maybe not as strong. With that in mind – added to our pace on both tyre compounds – we’re confident we can come up with a good strategy for a strong result.



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    • By Mark H
      Romain Grosjean finished P9 and Pastor Maldonado P11 after spirited runs up the order in the Brazilian Grand Prix
       
      Romain Grosjean finished P9 and Pastor Maldonado P11 after spirited runs up the order in the Brazilian Grand Prix. After a disappointing qualifying yesterday, today’s 71 lap race saw both drivers making moves on their rivals whilst employing different tyre strategies. Pastor looked like scoring with P10 until late in the race and did receive a five second penalty, served at his final pit stop, for contact with another driver.
      Romain started from P14 on the grid on new Pirelli soft compound tyres. He changed to new medium tyres on laps 10 and 35, then scrubbed softs on lap 54. Pastor started from P15 on new medium tyres, changing to new soft tyres on lap 25 and new mediums on lap 44.

      Romain Grosjean, P9, E23-04
      “It was a fun race, and I enjoyed going through the field with some nice overtaking manoeuvres with our aggressive race strategy. It was quite hard to follow the cars but we had good power to overtake into turn 1. It has been an emotional weekend so it is good to be back in the points. The next race will be my last one with the team and taking the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi will be very special but I will give my best to bring a good result.”

      Pastor Maldonado, P11, E23-03
      “It was a very active race with lots going on. We used a different strategy to most by running with the slower but more durable tyre for the first stint, when it was difficult to make progress against those on the softs. That meant when we changed to the softs we could push harder in the middle stint and make some good places. Then at the end we were defending with harder tyres from those with softer and fresher ones so it was difficult to keep P10, but from where we started it was a good race.”

      Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal
      "A great job from Romain, and also from all of the race team here, to work so well at what is nearly the end of a very long season. Thanks too to everyone at Enstone for all their efforts which we were hoping would be rewarded by both cars in the points. It’s a big shame that Pastor received a penalty as otherwise he would have finished at least P10, and this is very frustrating for all of us.”

      Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director
      "That was a strong race where we got back to where we should have been fighting after yesterday’s disappointing qualifying. Romain drove superbly today and Pastor should have scored too were it not for his penalty."
    • By Mark H
      Romain Grosjean finished P9 and Pastor Maldonado P11 after spirited runs up the order in the Brazilian Grand Prix
       
      Romain Grosjean finished P9 and Pastor Maldonado P11 after spirited runs up the order in the Brazilian Grand Prix. After a disappointing qualifying yesterday, today’s 71 lap race saw both drivers making moves on their rivals whilst employing different tyre strategies. Pastor looked like scoring with P10 until late in the race and did receive a five second penalty, served at his final pit stop, for contact with another driver.
      Romain started from P14 on the grid on new Pirelli soft compound tyres. He changed to new medium tyres on laps 10 and 35, then scrubbed softs on lap 54. Pastor started from P15 on new medium tyres, changing to new soft tyres on lap 25 and new mediums on lap 44. Romain Grosjean, P9, E23-04
      “It was a fun race, and I enjoyed going through the field with some nice overtaking manoeuvres with our aggressive race strategy. It was quite hard to follow the cars but we had good power to overtake into turn 1. It has been an emotional weekend so it is good to be back in the points. The next race will be my last one with the team and taking the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi will be very special but I will give my best to bring a good result.”
       
      Pastor Maldonado, P11, E23-03
      “It was a very active race with lots going on. We used a different strategy to most by running with the slower but more durable tyre for the first stint, when it was difficult to make progress against those on the softs. That meant when we changed to the softs we could push harder in the middle stint and make some good places. Then at the end we were defending with harder tyres from those with softer and fresher ones so it was difficult to keep P10, but from where we started it was a good race.”
       
      Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal
      "A great job from Romain, and also from all of the race team here, to work so well at what is nearly the end of a very long season. Thanks too to everyone at Enstone for all their efforts which we were hoping would be rewarded by both cars in the points. It’s a big shame that Pastor received a penalty as otherwise he would have finished at least P10, and this is very frustrating for all of us.”
       
      Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director
      "That was a strong race where we got back to where we should have been fighting after yesterday’s disappointing qualifying. Romain drove superbly today and Pastor should have scored too were it not for his penalty."


      This post has been promoted to an article