Lotus F1 endured a disappointing qualifying session for the Brazilian Grand Prix with Romain Grosjean classified fifteenth and Pastor Maldonado sixteenth at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace at Interlagos, São Paulo. Both drivers had displayed promising pace in the morning FP3 session where Grosjean was seventh fastest and Maldonado ninth, but this sadly did not translate to the afternoon qualifying. A 10 position grid penalty for Daniel Ricciardo means both drivers gain one position on the starting grid.
Romain Grosjean, E23-04. Q: P15, 1:13.913, starts P14. FP3: P7, 1:13.437:
“Firstly, my thoughts today are with everyone affected by the events in Paris. I have lived in the city for many years and have so many friends there so I was particularly shocked and saddened by what has happened. Qualifying didn’t go the way I wanted. The car felt good in Q1 then it was quite tricky in Q2. We need to look closely at what went wrong as it was a lost opportunity for us.”
Pastor Maldonado, E23-03. Q: P16, 1:13.385, starts P15. FP3: P9, 1:13.534:
“It was a tough session. We expected to be more competitive this afternoon but unfortunately we weren’t. We had been trying a number of different set-ups with the car to improve the feeling especially the rear of the car. Hopefully we will have better pace to have a solid race and be more competitive tomorrow.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“We looked strong this morning; we didn’t this afternoon.”
How was qualifying for the team?
“Very disappointing. Both drivers were happy with their cars this morning and set times in the top ten. Pastor was not able to extract the required speed to get into Q2, then Romain had two messy laps when he was in that second session. P14 and P15 on the grid is far from where we expected to be.”
What are the considerations for tomorrow’s race?
“We have a lot of work to do, but a decent result is still possible. The E23 looked encouraging on long runs and in tomorrow’s race we expect quite a bit of tyre degradation. If we make the correct strategy calls and both drivers have clean and strong races we should work our way forwards a decent amount. It’s not all over yet.”