Pastor Maldonado drove an impressive, measured race to take seventh position whilst Romain Grosjean suffered from a gearbox issue to halt his charge in the Austrian Grand Prix. Both drivers ran to one-stop strategies, with Grosjean starting on his qualifying super soft Pirellis and Maldonado starting on the harder soft tyres and eking out a long performance life from the super softs, passing cars late into his final stint. Grosjean’s car was brought into retirement at the end of lap 35.
Grosjean started from P9 on the grid on his qualifying super soft compound tyres, changing to new soft tyres on lap 23. He retired from the race with a gearbox issue on lap 35. Maldonado started from P10 on the grid on new soft tyres, changing to new super soft tyres on lap 37.
Romain Grosjean, DNF, E23-04:
“Of course it’s disappointing to retire from the race. We had good potential after the pit stop and it was good to be able to pass some cars with some side-by-side action. We were P8 when we retired and the car was feeling good. I just lost my gears and there was nothing we could do other than retire. Let’s hope our bad luck is behind us as we head to Silverstone confident of showing well again.”
Pastor Maldonado, P7, E23-03:
“It’s great to get another seventh position and the points that come with it. It was a big moment fighting with Max. The super soft tyres were very hot so losing their grip and you lose a lot of downforce close to the car ahead, but everything was under control. I wanted to get the position and I think we deserved it. It seems like we’re coming into a good time of the season for us so we’ll all keep working hard to continue scoring points.”
Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal:
“That was a fantastic drive from Pastor to take his second consecutive seventh position this season. It was a tough tactical race where he saved fuel in his first stint then managed his tyres, doing everything that was asked of him from the pit wall, plus showing us an incredible bit of car control right at the end too. We are sorry that Romain was unable to make the finish and we will do everything to diagnose and rectify the issue as he too was on course for a great result. Once more, with the pace shown this weekend, we have shown our potential to score strong points in the races ahead.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“That was a very lively end to the race to highlight a fantastic drive from Pastor. He did lose positions at the start, so after that we used a very aggressive strategy to get past Sergio Perez and thereafter Pastor managed the super soft tyres very well indeed for almost a half-race distance. This included a great dice with Max Verstappen in the final laps, which Pastor won to take seventh. Romain would have been well up in the points too but suffered from what looks like a gearbox issue so our joy is tempered by the knowledge we have to find and fix whatever issue affected him.”