Lotus F1 experienced a frustrating qualifying session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with Pastor Maldonado classified thirteenth and Romain Grosjean fifteenth at the Yas Marina Circuit. A gearbox issue in Q2 blunted Grosjean’s charge, forcing him to pit before posting a lap time in the session. The team attempted hasty remedial work, but the car ground to a halt part way through his final opportunity for qualifying glory. Maldonado was unable to break into the top ten and will start from P13.
Romain Grosjean, E23-04. Q: P15, No Q2 time set. FP3: P15, 1:43.928:
“That was very frustrating, but it’s the end of the season and I think my gearbox has been around the world about three times already! I’ll be doing everything I can tomorrow; I’ve asked the engine guys to turn it up to eleven so let’s see what we can do!”
Pastor Maldonado, E23-03. Q: P13, 1:42.807. FP3: P12, 1:43.680:
“We expected a difficult qualifying session so P13 is not so bad. You need a lot of downforce around here and that’s an area where we’re a bit lacking, especially at this time of the season. It’s the final race of the year tomorrow so we’ll do everything we can to get a decent result.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “The race will be tough, but we’ll keep pushing.”
How was qualifying for the team?
It was frustrating. It was clear from FP3 that we would struggle for qualifying pace today. Pastor’s P13 was actually quite reasonable but the issue we had with Romain’s car was a real kick. We tried everything we could to get him out, but it was not to be.
What are the considerations for tomorrow’s race?
Our race performance should be stronger relative to the opposition so we will be trying to work our way up the order albeit at a circuit where overtaking is not so easy. It will be a tough race but as always we will give it our best shot.