Lotus F1 Team scored its first points of the season after Romain Grosjean came home in a strong seventh position in the Chinese Grand Prix. It wasn’t so plain sailing for Pastor Maldonado who, despite a very strong start, suffered from braking issues and late race contact from Jenson Button, eventually retiring from the race with seven laps to go.
Grosjean started from P8 on the grid on his qualifying soft tyres, changing to new medium tyres on laps 12 and 32. Maldonado started from P11 on the grid on his new soft compound tyres, changing to new medium tyres on laps 11 and 33. He retired from the race on lap 49.
Romain Grosjean, P7, E23-02: “It’s the best we could do today and it’s satisfying to have achieved the team’s first points of the season. It wasn’t an easy circuit for us, with a lot of front limited corners that we don’t particularly like, but we had a strong start, and most of the stints were good too. We’ve made a good job improving the car race after race and it’s great to finally score points.”
Pastor Maldonado, DNF, E23-03: “I made a great start and we were running strongly early on. However later I had a braking issue which made it harder to battle. We also have to understand why the brakes locked up so easily coming into the pits. We lost a lot of time here and it compromised the rest of my race. It was a fantastic battle with Jenson and we were passing each other very cleanly; a good, fun, exciting battle. Unfortunately, it looks like he got his braking point wrong and went into the back of me. This can easily happen when you’re fighting for position, braking offline and using DRS, so it’s just one of those things. Certainly our race pace is good, if we qualify a little higher we should be set for a very good time in Bahrain.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “That was a solid race from us which illustrates where we expected to be fighting from the start of the year. Both cars were looking in very good shape for a seventh and eighth finish, and it was a great result from Romain meaning our first points on the board. We achieved our target of overtaking the Red Bull and both of the Saubers with Romain, who delivered everything required. Pastor had a much more difficult race despite a strong start and clearly had potential to finish comfortably in the top ten too.”