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Mark H

Lotus Displays Its Resilient Spirit In Malaysia

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Romain Grosjean delivers a steady and progressive race in Sepang, whilst power issues for Pastor Maldonado forces a tough decision to retire

Round two of the 2014 F1® season got underway today, and it was a bag of mixed fortunes for the Lotus F1® Team. Starting in P15 and P16, Lotus F1® Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado made good progress off the grid until a loss of power for Pastor during the first lap, cut short the Venezuelan’s race who took the tough decision to safeguard his engine and retire.

Romain however kept the black and gold flag flying high and advanced quickly, accelerating two places and sliding into P13 during the fourth lap. He then maintained his pace, overtaking Caterham’s Kobayashi to claim P12 during lap 32. Continuing his steady fight forwards and providing valuable data for the team, he further ascended into P11 and was forced to furiously defend his place in the last laps of the race thanks to a spirited challenge from teammate of old, Kimi Räikkönen. The Räikkönen charge did not break Romain’s lock down and he successfully crossed the line, his P11 finish in hand.

Romain Grosjean P11 E22-03: “Eleventh place is good for all the guys at Enstone and at the track, and it's good for me too. Finishing the race was our first objective and then we wanted to see where we were with our car. It's not perfect yet but it's good to be where we are at this stage. I had a big loss of downforce around eight laps to the end especially in the rear of the car which made things difficult, especially when I had to defend. Without that issue, I’m sure we could have finished higher. It's good to be back and close to the points so it's a positive for all of us. It was a good battle at the end. I kept remembering our past battles to make sure Kimi couldn't go through!"

Pastor Maldonado DNF E22-01: “After the start we were losing a lot of power so we'll have to investigate later to see what the issue is and analyse the data. This problem meant I had to retire in order to protect the engine. Despite that, this weekend has been clearly a step forwards. Since Saturday, we've been able to run far more with the car and Romain was able to finish the race. Today obviously was not so good for me, but we're not the only ones with issues so early in the season. This is all related to all the complex packages in the car, but we have learnt a lot this weekend and will make progress for the next.”

Frederico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal: “Today Romain drove a great race to be in with a shout of points and finish the team’s first race of 2014. That he was able to defend his position for the last eight laps despite his rear diffuser not working properly shows his determination. This determination is shared by the entire team as we now look to extract more performance from the E22. Pastor was very unfortunate with an issue which could have damaged his engine. We needed to retire him so that we can ensure better performance later in the year. We head to Bahrain as determined as ever to find more improvements in performance and reliability.”

The next round of the competition takes place at the Sakhir Circuit in Bahrain on the 6th April.

 



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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
    • By Mark H
      Pastor Maldonado finished eighth in a highly eventful United States Grand Prix whilst Romain Grosjean retired from the race because of damage sustained to his car at the first corner.
       
      Pastor Maldonado finished eighth in a highly eventful United States Grand Prix whilst Romain Grosjean retired from the race because of damage sustained to his car at the first corner. The Grand Prix started wet with a dry line emerging through the race. There were a number of safety car periods of both virtual and real iterations.
      Romain started from P10 on the grid on new intermediate tyres. He pitted at the end of lap one for new intermediate tyres, then lap 9 for new soft tyres. He retired at the end of lap 10 as a consequence of the lap one damage. Pastor started from P12 on new intermediate tyres, changing to new intermediates on lap 18 then new softs on laps 27 and 43.

      Romain Grosjean, DNF, E23-04
      “I had a good start, but in the middle of the first corner I felt a hit from behind. This gave me a puncture and the damage meant that the floor and braking cooling ducts were damaged. We tried continuing but the brake temperatures were just too high and we had to retire for safety reasons. It’s a shame because it would have been a good race as far as we know with the experience we have and the set-up we were on… Everything should have been quite nice but now we’ll never know!”

      Pastor Maldonado, P8, E23-03
      “We are in the points once again which is the main positive thing for the team. It was quite a busy race with a lot of fighting around me, and even some fighting with the car as it didn’t quite perform as expected. It was a little bit strange because we are normally quite strong in the races; better than in qualifying in fact. My crew were great all day with qualifying and the race. We hope to continue scoring strong points in the remaining races.”

      Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal
      “Firstly congratulations to Lewis Hamilton, a deserving world champion who took his title in the best way possible. He and the entire Mercedes AMG F1 team have done a fantastic job this year. It was an unfortunate day for Romain as his race was ended so early through no fault of his own. Pastor secured a good top ten finish which adds to our points tally. After a tough build-up to the race Formula 1 put on a great spectacle at the Circuit of the Americas so we thank everyone in Austin for all their efforts. I’m sure we’re all hoping for better weather next year!”

      Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director
      "It was an eventful race but we weren’t able to capitalise on all the opportunities. Unfortunately we had to retire Romain very early as his rear floor and brake cooling was damaged in the contact at the first corner. We tried to keep racing but it wasn’t safe to continue. Pastor scored useful points but we weren’t able to fight higher unfortunately."