Abu Dhabi GP post race: Lotus

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado (and below)

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 E23. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Saturday 28th November 2015. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE.


Romain Grosjean gave an emphatic performance in his final race for Lotus F1 with a sterling effort from P18 on the grid to P9 at the chequered flag in the final race of the 2015 FIA Formula 1 World Championship at Yas Marina Circuit for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Grosjean worked his way through the field with a superb driving display backed-up by exemplary pit stops and superb strategy. Pastor Maldonado was eliminated from the race on the first lap as a victim of an incident for which Fernando Alonso was penalised.

Lotus F1 ends its 2015 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season in sixth position in the Constructors’ Championship with 78 points. Grosjean started from P18 on the grid on new Pirelli soft compound tyres (he qualified P15 but received a five place penalty for a gearbox change, but other factors elsewhere bumped him up the order). He changed to new soft tyres on lap 23, then new super softs on lap 43. Maldonado started from P13 on new super soft tyres but was eliminated from the running at the first corner.

Romain Grosjean, P9, E23-04. Championship position P11, 51 points:
“It’s been an emotional journey for me and I’m so happy to be able to reward everyone at Enstone with points in my final race for the team. I had to push all the way and it wasn’t always plain sailing as there was a lot to manage on the car. The calls from the pit wall were great and my pit stops were fantastic. I owe a lot to this team and it really feels like a family to me. I hope to be back one day in the future. This has been the best season of my career.”

Pastor Maldonado, DNF, E23-03. Championship position P14, 27 points:
“It’s sad to end the race in the first corner because we were looking good for the race. Today we had a good strategy to go with our better race pace, but anyway this is racing and it can happen. I didn’t see the contact I just felt it in the back of the car from Fernando. I tried to restart but then I saw the suspension damage. Imagine if that incident had been the other way round, it would’ve been big news then!”

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal:
“2015 has been an incredible year for us for so many reasons and I must say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported us through what has been a character-building season. The resolve of everyone at Enstone has been tested, but we have come through. Today’s race was illustrative of the fighting spirit of Enstone and Romain did us proud in his final race with us. Pastor was the victim of someone else’s incident so couldn’t end the season as he wanted. Our focus is now completely on 2016; watch this space, there’s plenty more to come.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“Romain drove a superb race and it’s a testament of all the hard work that’s been put in under difficult conditions over the year from everyone in the team that he could finish in the top ten in the final race of the season. Our relative pace today was much better than in qualifying and we were able to harness a strong strategy to move up the order. Pastor was very unfortunate at the start as he had looked strong all weekend here.”


Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean (and below)

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 E23. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Saturday 28th November 2015. Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Brazilian GP: Lotus

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 E23. Brazilian Grand Prix, Saturday 14th November 2015. Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Pastor Maldonado

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 E23. Brazilian Grand Prix, Saturday 14th November 2015. Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Romain Grosjean


Romain Grosjean finished P9 and Pastor Maldonado P11 after spirited runs up the order in the Brazilian Grand Prix. After a disappointing qualifying yesterday, today’s 71 lap race saw both drivers making moves on their rivals whilst employing different tyre strategies. Maldonado looked like scoring with P10 until late in the race and did receive a five second penalty, served at his final pit stop, for contact with another driver.

Grosjean started from P14 on the grid on new Pirelli soft compound tyres. He changed to new medium tyres on laps 10 and 35, then scrubbed softs on lap 54. Maldonado started from P15 on new medium tyres, changing to new soft tyres on lap 25 and new mediums on lap 44.

Romain Grosjean, P9, E23-04:
“It was a fun race, and I enjoyed going through the field with some nice overtaking manoeuvres with our aggressive race strategy. It was quite hard to follow the cars but we had good power to overtake into turn 1. It has been an emotional weekend so it is good to be back in the points. The next race will be my last one with the team and taking the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi will be very special but I will give my best to bring a good result.”

Pastor Maldonado, P11, E23-03:
“It was a very active race with lots going on. We used a different strategy to most by running with the slower but more durable tyre for the first stint, when it was difficult to make progress against those on the softs. That meant when we changed to the softs we could push harder in the middle stint and make some good places. Then at the end we were defending with harder tyres from those with softer and fresher ones so it was difficult to keep P10, but from where we started it was a good race.”

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal:
“A great job from Romain, and also from all of the race team here, to work so well at what is nearly the end of a very long season. Thanks too to everyone at Enstone for all their efforts which we were hoping would be rewarded by both cars in the points. It’s a big shame that Pastor received a penalty as otherwise he would have finished at least P10, and this is very frustrating for all of us.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“That was a strong race where we got back to where we should have been fighting after yesterday’s disappointing qualifying. Romain drove superbly today and Pastor should have scored too were it not for his penalty.”


Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 E23. Brazilian Grand Prix, Saturday 14th November 2015. Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 E23. Brazilian Grand Prix, Saturday 14th November 2015. Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Brazilian GP qualifying: Lotus

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team. Russian Grand Prix, Thursday 8th October 2015. Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia.

Romain Grosjean


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.”


Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Brazilian Grand Prix - Practice Day - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 E23. Brazilian Grand Prix, Friday 13th November 2015. Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Paris statements

“Lotus F1 would like to express its sadness following Friday’s tragic events in Paris. The team’s thoughts are with everyone affected.  For tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix the team will run with the hastag #PrayForParis on the cars of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.”

“The FIA and its 236 affiliated members in more than 140 countries globally share the grief of the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks which occurred in Paris, one of the FIA’s historic headquarters. The whole FIA community expresses its solidarity to all those affected by this insufferable tragedy.”

Mexican GP post race: Lotus

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado


Better late than never…

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado took the chequered flag just 0.6 seconds apart after an exciting first Mexican Grand Prix in 23 years. Maldonado overtook Grosjean at the start who emerged ahead after the first pit stop and the black and gold duo were seldom far apart for the rest of the 71 lap race. Grosjean started from P12 on the grid on his new soft compound tyres. He changed to new medium tyres on lap 11 and scrubbed softs under safety car conditions on lap 52. Maldonado started from P13 on new soft tyres, changing to new medium tyres on lap 10 and scrubbed softs on lap 52.

Romain Grosjean, P10, E23-04:
“It was great to see so many people here; they are huge F1 fans and so knowledgeable. It was a pleasure to race in front of them, especially in the awesome stadium area where everyone was so passionate. It’s good to score, even if it was only one point! It was a long race and not easy as there was a lot to manage. The car was good on medium tyres, less so on softs. The safety car meant it was too risky not to come in and that meant finishing the race on the soft compound. This weekend was all about finding the grip and the track was definitely improving massively throughout the race. I think next year will be even more fun to drive once the grip has improved.”

Pastor Maldonado, P11, E23-03:
“Our race was pretty good and it was great to cross the finish line to so many cheers and still pushing hard to pass Romain, though I would have preferred to be in front! I expected to struggle more with the brakes today, but everything was under control, so I’m disappointed not to be in the points after what was a strong race from us. I made a good start, but we lost time at the first pit stop. It was pretty tough at the end trying to overtake; I was a few tenths faster than Romain but it is tough to pass here. I missed a braking point at turn 12 late on, but my battle to beat him was lost in through traffic in the pits.”

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal:
“What a fantastic return for Formula 1 to Mexico. We saw a fast-paced and exciting race today where both our drivers were amazingly closely matched, showing they are both giving their all. The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is a wonderful venue and we received a superb response from all the fans. Everyone in the team continues to show their fighting spirit with just two races left this season.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director
“That was quite a straight-forward race for us to mark our return to Mexico. The circuit is very impressive and presents unique challenges from an engineering perspective. Both drivers drove strongly and intelligently and were very evenly matched throughout the race. Pastor lost time on his first pit stop from other traffic in the pit lane otherwise the finishing positions would likely be reversed, but he and Romain raced cleanly at every turn.”

US GP post race: Lotus

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 E23. United States Grand Prix, Sunday 25th November 2015. Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, USA.

Romain Grosjean


Pastor Maldonado finished eighth in a highly eventful US Grand Prix whilst Romain Grosjean retired from the race because of damage sustained to his car at the first corner. The Grand Prix started wet with a dry line emerging through the race. There were a number of safety car periods of both virtual and real iterations.

Grosjean started from P10 on the grid on new intermediate tyres. He pitted at the end of lap one for new intermediate tyres, then lap 9 for new soft tyres. He retired at the end of lap 10 as a consequence of the lap one damage. Maldonado started from P12 on new intermediate tyres, changing to new intermediates on lap 18 then new softs on laps 27 and 43.

Romain Grosjean, DNF, E23-04:
“I had a good start, but in the middle of the first corner I felt a hit from behind. This gave me a puncture and the damage meant that the floor and braking cooling ducts were damaged. We tried continuing but the brake temperatures were just too high and we had to retire for safety reasons. It’s a shame because it would have been a good race as far as we know with the experience we have and the set-up we were on… Everything should have been quite nice but now we’ll never know!”

Pastor Maldonado, P8, E23-03:
“We are in the points once again which is the main positive thing for the team. It was quite a busy race with a lot of fighting around me, and even some fighting with the car as it didn’t quite perform as expected. It was a little bit strange because we are normally quite strong in the races; better than in qualifying in fact. My crew were great all day with qualifying and the race. We hope to continue scoring strong points in the remaining races.”

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal:
“Firstly congratulations to Lewis Hamilton, a deserving world champion who took his title in the best way possible. He and the entire Mercedes AMG F1 team have done a fantastic job this year. It was an unfortunate day for Romain as his race was ended so early through no fault of his own. Pastor secured a good top ten finish which adds to our points tally. After a tough build-up to the race Formula 1 put on a great spectacle at the Circuit of the Americas so we thank everyone in Austin for all their efforts. I’m sure we’re all hoping for better weather next year!”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“It was an eventful race but we weren’t able to capitalise on all the opportunities. Unfortunately we had to retire Romain very early as his rear floor and brake cooling was damaged in the contact at the first corner. We tried to keep racing but it wasn’t safe to continue. Pastor scored useful points but we weren’t able to fight higher unfortunately.”


Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 E23. United States Grand Prix, Sunday 25th November 2015. Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, USA.

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 E23. United States Grand Prix, Sunday 25th November 2015. Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, USA.

US GP qualifying: Lotus

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado (and below)

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 E23. United States Grand Prix, Saturday 24th November 2015. Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, USA.


Lotus has qualified 13th and 15th for today’s US Grand Prix. In extremely wet and slippery conditions, both drivers proceeded to the second qualifying session but were unable to break into the top 10 for this afternoon’s race. Both drivers gain two positions on the grid as a result of penalties for other competitors, meaning Grosjean starts in P11 and Maldonado in P13.

Romain Grosjean, E23-04. Q: P13, starts P11, 2:00.595:
“Conditions were certainly very hard for everyone out there. We knew our relative performance on the wet tyres wouldn’t be as good as it is in the dry. We pushed as hard as we could to get into the top ten but we just couldn’t make it. The rain fell harder in Q2 and it became too wet to run any further laps.”

Pastor Maldonado, E23-03. Q: P15, starts P13, 2:01.604:
“At the end of Q2 it was raining too much which made it very tricky. I found it very difficult with our car as even staying on a line was tough. The rear was very unstable and we had a lot of oversteer. The track itself was too wet for the last few laps so I can understand why Q3 didn’t take place.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
How was qualifying? “For the drivers it was a game of finding some clear track away from the spray and maximising the opportunities when the track was at its driest. It rained all through the session so it was difficult for everyone out there. The conditions were very poor at the end of Q2 which was highlighted by Q3 being aborted.”

What are the considerations for the race? “The weather is obviously the primary consideration. It’s raining right now and we’re watching the skies and the satellite maps very closely.”


Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean (and below)

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 E23. United States Grand Prix, Saturday 24th November 2015. Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, USA.

Jolyon Palmer driving for Lotus next year

Jolyon Palmer at the Japanese Grand Prix, Friday 25 September 2015, Suzuka.

Jolyon Palmer at the Japanese Grand Prix, Friday 25 September 2015, Suzuka.


Pleasing his (former F1 driver) dad, Jonathan enormously one assumes…

Palmer junior, 24, has driven for the team in the majority of this season’s Free Practice 1 sessions, and is back in the E23 Hybrid at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix. He joined Lotus F1 in January, following an outstanding GP2 campaign in 2014 where he won the championship in dominant fashion, becoming the first British driver to win the GP2 Series since Lewis Hamilton in 2006.

Gerard Lopez, Chairman and Team Principal, Lotus F1:
“We are very pleased to announce that exciting British racing talent Jolyon Palmer is promoted to a race seat with the team for next season. We’ve seen Jolyon’s hard work and talent this season in the way he’s approached his third driver role and he is a really popular choice for the team. As well as having a great future ahead of him behind the wheel, Jolyon is an intelligent and highly marketable asset to the team. He deserves this opportunity, and everyone at Enstone is excited to see what he can achieve next year.”

Jolyon Palmer, current Third and Reserve driver:
“I’m obviously delighted that I’ll be racing in Formula 1 next year. Lotus F1 gave me a tremendous opportunity this season and I thank them for assisting my development to a level where they have put their trust in me for a crucial season in their evolution. I’ve enjoyed and learnt a lot from my year so I’m looking forward to putting this into practice as a race driver in 2016. I can’t wait for next season to get underway!”

Russian GP post race: Lotus

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean


Romain Grosjean emerged unscathed from a high speed tangle with the barriers whilst Pastor Maldonado finished in eighth in today’s Russian Grand Prix. Grosjean had been fighting back from a pit stop to replace his front wing after a first lap contact before hitting the barriers and retiring on lap 12.

Grosjean started from P8 on the grid on his qualifying super soft compound tyres. He stopped for a new front wing and new soft tyres at the end of the first lap. He retired from the race after contact with the barriers on lap 12. Maldonado started from P14 on new soft tyres, changing to new super soft tyres on lap 30.

Romain Grosjean, DNF, E23-04:
“I lost the rear end in a very high speed corner going through turn three and couldn’t recover it. We don’t know exactly why yet. We need to check what has happened – was it a driver error or something technical? – we’ll see. I feel sorry for the guys because there will be a lot of work to repair the car. I feel okay physically and I’ll certainly be a bit sore tomorrow morning, but I’ll be completely fine again after a couple of days. We lost some good points today but let’s understand what happened and look forward to the next race.”

Pastor Maldonado, P8, E23-03:
“It was a bit tough today but we opted for the right strategy from the beginning starting on the soft tyres and going longer on the first run. Unfortunately we lost a lot of time on the second stint with the new super soft tyres. Our car didn’t perform as expected at the beginning of the run but then after a few laps we started to get back into the rhythm. We scored points today which is very positive for the team and hopefully we can continue to do so in the next races.”

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal:
“The most important thing from today is that Romain’s okay after his crash. We were all very relieved when we saw him jump out of the car and he was his usual happy self when he came to the garage to tell everyone about what happened. Pastor had a solid race into the points from a less than ideal starting position so a good performance from him.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“We are looking at the data and speaking with Romain to ascertain what happened but obviously we’re glad all the safety measures did what they should. Pastor was able to make progress in a race that saw a reasonable amount of incidents. Not our strongest weekend so we’ll be looking to do better in Austin.”

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team on the grid. Russian Grand Prix, Sunday 11th October 2015. Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia.

Pastor Maldonado (and below)


Pastor Maldonado (and below)

Singapore GP post race: Lotus

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean


Lotus F1 fought a tough Singapore Grand Prix with Pastor Maldonado finishing twelfth and Romain Grosjean classified thirteenth. Maldonado was able to feature strongly in the top ten for much of the race, but diminishing tyre performance late on meant a better finish was not possible. He sustained damage to his car after contact from Jenson Button’s car which blunted his late-race performance.

Grosjean started from P10 on the grid on his qualifying super soft tyres. He changed to scrubbed softs on lap 9 and new softs on lap 26.
Maldonado started from P18 on new super soft tyres, changing to new super softs on lap 10, new softs on lap 27 and new super softs on lap 54.

Romain Grosjean, P13, E23-04:
“We had an aggressive strategy planned for today, which looked good since we were as high as P8 at one point but the first virtual safety car cost us dearly. I lost a lot of places on the first lap, there was quite a lot of sliding going on and, as we knew this wouldn’t be a great track for us – like Hungary and Monaco – we knew it would be difficult. There was nothing left in the tyres towards the end of the race and as soon as we were out of the points, we chose to retire the car as we had some concerns with the gearbox and didn’t want to risk a penalty in Japan.”

Pastor Maldonado, P12, E23-03:
“It was a really difficult race. The contact from the McLaren was small but enough to break my diffuser. I was defending on the inside and I don’t know where Jenson wanted to overtake me. It’s a very narrow corner where it happened and there was no chance for him to overtake. The damage meant we lost performance at the rear at the time in the race when we wanted to preserve tyre life. Sadly it wasn’t possible to maintain the pace and the tyres so we had to make an additional, unplanned stop.”

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal:
“We scored no points today but we certainly fought hard. It’s a long, hot and humid race so thanks to Pastor and Romain for pushing to the maximum for every lap. Everyone in the team has been working hard all week so it’s frustrating for all of us when we fall short of the points. We’re certainly focused on a better result in Japan.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director:
“That was a long tough race for us. Romain lost positions at the start so we brought forward his stops to undercut and gain track position. Unfortunately this meant we missed out on a quick pit stop under the virtual safety car at the first stop. We suffered worse tyre degradation than expected on Romain’s final stint which cost us in the last few laps. Pastor made up positions from his start but was compromised later on after the damage sustained from Jenson. We are now looking forward to Suzuka.”


Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 E23 pulls into the pits. Singapore Grand Prix, Sunday 20th September 2015. Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore.

Romain Grosjean pulls into the pits

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 E23. Singapore Grand Prix, Sunday 20th September 2015. Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore.

Pastor Maldonado

Renault and Lotus

Looks like the former has issued a letter of intent to acquire the latter, according to the following statement:

Renault Group and Gravity Motorsports S.a.r.l., an affiliate of Genii Capital SA, are pleased to announce the signature of a Letter of Intent regarding the potential acquisition by Renault of a controlling stake in Lotus F1 Team Ltd.

The signature of this Letter of Intent marks Renault’s first step towards the project of a Renault Formula 1 team from the 2016 racing season thereby extending 38 years of commitment of the brand to world’s premier motorsport championship series.

Renault Group and Gravity will work together in the coming weeks to eventually turn this initial undertaking into a definitive transaction provided all terms and conditions are met between them and other interested parties.

Monza preview: Lotus

Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi looks ahead to the Italian Grand Prix.

Pastor suffered a retirement in Spa, what is the team doing to make sure this doesn’t happen at the next race?

“First the team will prepare the cars as usual for the weekend sessions and hopefully, with a clear weekend, we can hope for a good performance by both drivers.”

Where do you feel the team is at currently?

“We are facing challenges but we are a united team. We have shown many times that we are fighters and that we punch above our weight. We are now fifth in the Constructor’s Championship and that makes me proud of everyone at Enstone. We want to continue to show our worth and fight on each and every lap these coming races.”

How important is Monza, and Italy, for Formula 1?

“It’s very important for me personally. Monza, Spa, Silverstone, have all been part of the original history of motor racing. Monza is and will always remain a classic in the Formula 1 calendar. The fans – or tifosi in Italy – are simply amazing and there are so many of them at all these historic venues no matter if it pours with rain or even if it snowed!”

This is the last European race of the season, what are your thoughts heading to the final batch of long-haul races?

“We will be heading to races overseas after Monza and we’ll be visiting some great countries and venues. From Singapore which always offers a great night spectacle, to the US that is extremely popular, to Mexico, a new venue that we are looking forward to visiting this year, and of course Russia, Brazil and Abu Dhabi, places where F1 is warmly greeted and where the promoters are doing a fantastic job. We shall be looking forward to visiting all these places in the latter part of the season..”


Fresh off the back of his Belgian third place, Romain Grosjean sets out his targets for a similarly strong performance in Monza.

How goes the high after your Spa podium?

“I still have a massive smile on my face about it! What a race and what a performance from everyone in the team. We have a great car in the E23 and it worked so well around Spa Francorchamps. Everything came together so well. I probably drove the best race of my career, but it was thanks to the hard work of everyone at Enstone that I was able to perform at the top of my ability on that day. It felt almost like a race win.”

Could you have passed Sebastian Vettel if he hadn’t had his tyre issue?

“I was closing in on him pretty quickly and I’d have done everything I could to get past him. He’s a pretty tough competitor, but I was very determined at that point. It’s only a shame that he did have his tyre issue on track as I was really looking forward to fighting him for that position and I’m convinced I would have taken the final podium spot.”

How do you like Monza, the Theatre of Speed?

“I like Monza a lot because it is so distinctive. It’s a great track that has a lot of racing history. This makes it nice for us to compete at a place where all our heroes raced too. There is a lot of atmosphere around the track and to race in the setting of the royal park makes for a really special ambience. Of course the Ferrari fans are a big part of it and it is really nice competing at such a legendary venue.”

Any special memories from Monza?

“One of my first ever races in cars was at Monza back in 2003 when I was driving in a category called Formula Lista where I won and then went on to win every race of my rookie season in that formula. I have had some other big results at Monza too throughout my career, so it holds lots of good memories.”

What aspirations do you have for Monza this weekend?

“On paper, Monza should suit our car better than Spa so in theory a podium could be possible again! Of course, we don’t know how our performance relative to our rivals will stack up until we get there, but I’m certainly going out for the strongest result possible, as I always do.”

What’s the key to a strong result in Italy?

“You need your car to be as slippery as possible and quick in a straight line, and in that regard we’ve looked pretty strong so far in 2015. Then we have to manage the tyre degradation. Also for us it will be tricky in the big corners like the Lesmos and the Ascari chicane because the less downforce you have then the more difficult it is to get good grip in the turns. It is a tough compromise but one I am sure that the team will get the best solution possible.”


Pastor Maldonado looks forward to the 2015 Italian Grand Prix at a place where so much of his race craft was learned.

What are your opinions of racing in the Parco di Monza?

“I like Monza and I love Italy. I actually used to live very close to the circuit when I was starting my career here in Europe. I have won races here so it holds some good memories and special feelings for sure. I have a lot of friends here and a lot of supporters who come and see me at the track, so it is very nice to catch up with them all. The track is totally unique and of course it is great to be racing where all the old heroes did too. Monza has changed only very slightly over the years and it still has the character of the old banking and the parkland trees as you drive through it and of course the fans create a great atmosphere which is a great soundtrack to the Grand Prix.”

Any particular expectations for the Monza weekend?

“I am really looking forward to Monza this year. We’ve shown our car to be pretty good through the speed traps this season and Monza is where you want to be as fast as possible in a straight line. Coming off the back of our performance in Spa it’s going to be really interesting to see how we go; I have a good feeling.”

Tell us one word that comes to mind when you hear the word Monza?

“Speed. It has to be speed because the track is all about how fast you can go on the start/finish straight and then also on the back straight too. We are reaching the highest speeds of the season on these stretches. One of the critical points is the Parabolica corner. You have to get this right at the end of your lap to ensure a good time, and if you get it wrong it also compromises you for the next lap. It’s difficult to do this as the car is set up for low downforce on the straights, so it’s more difficult to drive on the corners – especially a long corner like Parabolica, which is tough and fast, the most crucial at Monza.”

Last year the outside of Parabolica was changed from gravel to tarmac; did this make a difference?

“The approach was still the same, which is to take it as quickly and efficiently as possible. Of course you are aware that it’s safer and there’s less penalty in going off and this is good from a safety point of view because it is a quick corner with not that much room on the outside.”

How frustrating was your Belgian Grand Prix?

“Of course, it’s frustrating not to finish any Grand Prix, but it was particularly so in Belgium as we really had potential to go well. Romain did a great job to finish on the podium and I started my race ahead of him on the grid. We know what is possible and our car should go well in Monza. I would love to score a very strong result in Italy as I have so many fans there.”

Were there particular lessons learned?

“We’ve gone through the data and we think we know what we need to do to avoid a similar situation again. Spa’s a pretty unique place so it’s unlikely we’ll see the same set of circumstances again. It was good to watch the team get a good result, but it would have been better to have been part of a strong result for both cars on track.”



Belgian GP post race: Lotus

Romain Grosjean celebrates his third position on the podium

Romain Grosjean celebrates his third position on the podium


Lotus F1 returned to the Formula 1 Grand Prix podium for the first time since the US Grand Prix in 2013 thanks to a superb drive from Romain Grosjean. Despite a five-place grid penalty, Grosjean delivered an exceptionally measured performance including setting a race fastest lap. Grosjean’s joy was tempered by a second lap retirement for Pastor Maldonado after his car lost drive. The cause is currently being investigated. Grosjean’s result means Lotus F1 returns to fifth position in the Constructors’ Championship.

Grosjean started from P9 on the grid on his qualifying soft tyres, changing to new soft compound tyres on lap 9 and scrubbed mediums on lap 21.
Maldonado started from P7 on the grid but was forced to retire on the second lap after his car lost drive.

Romain Grosjean, P3, E23-04:
“Today’s result is wonderful. It’s good for the team and for myself of course. Yesterday’s good qualifying result put a smile on my face but today was an unbelievable race. Everything came together when it mattered during those 43 laps. I drove with my heart today and pushed 100 per cent throughout the race. I did some great overtaking manoeuvres and was really pushing to catch up and hopefully overtake Sebastian Vettel – of course it was bad luck for him to have had the tyre issue at the end. We were really trying to go for the podium this afternoon and I felt very emotional during the last lap of the race! It’s a great feeling today.”

Pastor Maldonado, DNF, E23-03:
“We had been doing a great job this weekend, especially yesterday. The car was feeling very good, very competitive and I had a good race start. We had an issue with the drive of the car which the team is investigating. I’m disappointed about the issue we had today but that’s racing sometimes. We are keeping focused for the next race now and Romain has shown what is possible. I love Italy and Monza so I’ll be doing everything I can for a strong result there.”

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal:
“What an amazing job from Romain today and we all thank all the hard work of everyone at Enstone and here at the circuit in Belgium. It’s no secret that it’s been a tough season for us in some ways, but we certainly know how to pick our moments to bounce back. Our joy for Romain and the team is a little bittersweet because of the retirement for Pastor, who started his race ahead of Romain so could have finished equally strongly. We will do everything we can to get both cars in strong positions in Monza.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director:
“That was quite a race from Romain and the team! We were buoyed after yesterday’s P4 qualifying performance then today he drove a fantastic measured race. He drove brilliantly and made all the correct decisions with some fabulous overtaking. He looked after the tyres when he needed to and pushed when he needed to. It was the perfect race from him. We haven’t looked at everything on Pastor’s car yet but we know there was a big excursion over the kerbs which appears to have caused some damage to the power box so a big shame as he should also have achieved a strong result here.”



Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 E23. Belgian Grand Prix, Saturday 22nd August 2015. Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.

Romain Grosjean

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 E23. Hungarian Grand Prix, Sunday 26th July 2015. Budapest, Hungary.

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 E23. Belgian Grand Prix, Saturday 22nd August 2015. Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 E23. Belgian Grand Prix, Sunday 23rd August 2015. Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.

Belgian GP practice: Lotus

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado


Lotus F1 opened its Belgian Grand Prix weekend with a strong top ten time from Grosjean to underlie the team’s potential after an eventful and challenging first day back on track. Maldonado was one of three drivers to cause a red flag during the day, with an off in the second half of FP1. He returned to the track to end the day as fifteenth fastest. Jolyon Palmer completed evaluations of the team’s new front wing in the morning session.

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Pastor’s FP1 was curtailed mid-session after an off and contact with the barriers damaged his car and caused a brief red flag period. He was evaluating a new top rear wing today. Jolyon conducted a front wing evaluation programme as well as other set-up work. The twice interrupted second session saw tyre evaluation and longer runs, with Pastor and Romain in action. Romain continued the front wing evaluation and his car stopped on track at the end of the session, requiring recovery back to the garage. Pirelli’s medium (white) compound tyre was used in the morning session, the medium and soft (yellow) in the afternoon.

Jolyon Palmer, E23-04
Free practice 1: P17, 1:53.799, 23 laps
“It was a productive session for me and it was good to get the first taste on track of the new front wing which felt pretty promising from where I was sat. It’s always difficult at Spa to find the best balance because it’s a compromise between having aero and having straight line speed with the nature of the track. We tried something different across the two cars and we had a new front wing to try as well, which was good to test.”

Romain Grosjean, E23-04
Free practice 2: P7, 1:50.489, 21 laps
“That was a good session for me. My first runs weren’t great and it was clear we had to make some changes to the car’s set-up. Once we did that the car felt a lot better and I felt that the car was a lot more how I wanted it with the soft tyres. We have a few other niggles to rectify but it’s lovely to drive Spa with wonderful warm weather. If we can find a little more pace from the car I think we can have a pretty good weekend here.”

Pastor Maldonado, E23-03
Free practice 1: P11, 1:52.539, 15 laps
Free practice 2: P15, 1:51.317, 16 laps
“Today wasn’t the start to the Grand Prix weekend that we wanted. I lost the rear end in FP1 and unfortunately I wasn’t able to keep the car off the barriers. My crew did a great job to get everything back together for FP2, but then there were a couple of red flags to interrupt that session too. I think we can have a good weekend from now, there’s good potential in the car and we know what we need for a strong result.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director: “This wasn’t the most straight-forward first day back on track for us after the summer shutdown. Pastor unfortunately had an off in FP1 in which his car sustained a reasonable amount of damage. The repair work continued into FP2 meaning his day was pretty compromised. On the other side of the garage, Jolyon completed a good tally of laps in the morning to assist with our assessment of our latest front wing, whilst Romain was able to continue with set-up work in the afternoon and made good progress and looked competitive finishing FP2 in P7.”


Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean

Hungarian GP post race: Lotus

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado


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.”


Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 E23. Hungarian Grand Prix, Sunday 26th July 2015. Budapest, Hungary.

Romain Grosjean

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 E23. Hungarian Grand Prix, Sunday 26th July 2015. Budapest, Hungary.

Pastor Maldonado

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