Lotus F1 experienced an eventful Hungarian Grand Prix with Romain Grosjean fighting back to finish seventh and Pastor Maldonado finishing fourteenth. Both drivers had tardy starts but were able to work back through the order in a race which saw one safety car period as well as numerous incidents and penalties through the field. Both drivers were included in the penalty list, with Grosjean awarded five seconds stationary in the pit lane and Maldonado having two drive-through penalties and a 10 second addition to his race time.
Grosjean started from P10 on the grid on his qualifying soft tyres, changing to new softs on lap 14, new mediums on lap 34 and scrubbed softs on lap 42. He served a five-second stop and go on his second stop for an unsafe release from his first. Maldonado started from P14 on the grid on new medium tyres. He changed to new soft tyres on laps 25 and 41. He completed pit lane drive through penalties on laps 24 and 58. Ten seconds were added to his race time.
Romain Grosjean, P7, E23-04
“I think today was an incredible race; it was an incredible weekend. Being in the top ten in qualifying yesterday was a miracle and today was actually beautiful; we really pushed hard and it was good, we deserved some points. I had a terrible start, lost a lot of spaces and I was pushed into the gravel by Carlos Sainz on the first lap. Then I came back on track and couldn’t pass the McLaren. Then there was a penalty for an unsafe release and then the safety car. But we got the strategy right and, after all that, we ended up in P7 fighting with the Mercedes.”
Pastor Maldonado, P14, E23-03
“It was tough race and the Stewarts were certainly very strict today, very tough on driving with me and many other drivers. I struggled at the start as our strategy was to run with the harder tyres, but then the strategy was working well with the softer tyres until the penalties affected our race. With Sergio Perez around the outside of me it felt like a racing incident to me; there was nothing intentional in the contact.”
Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal:
“Today we saw a great race illustrating the never-give-up attitude from everyone at Enstone. Romain scored a nice tally of points and it’s a pity that Pastor was unable to join him in the top ten as he certainly looked set to finish there too. We started the weekend pretty far down the timesheets, but we improved every day. The E23 is a great car which still has further potential to perform strongly. It was a fantastic race to watch too; amazing for the spectacle.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“After a poor start we expected a very difficult fight to try to get any points, but in an eventful race Romain was able to salvage a decent points finish. The E23 worked well in today’s track conditions, we had a good strategy and we were able to take advantage of the safety car period to change Romain back to the softer tyres. Romain did a great job to defend from the Mercedes to finish between them, and the points scored helps us in our battle for fifth position in the Constructors’ Championship. Pastor had the potential to also score well today, but unfortunately too many penalties blunted his charge.”