Japanese GP post race: Lotus

 

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 E23. Japanese Grand Prix, Sunday 27th September 2015. Suzuka, Japan.

 

Lotus F1 completed a strong Japanese Grand Prix with both cars finishing in the top eight for the first time since the Indian Grand Prix in 2013. Grosjean took seventh, with Maldonado finishing just 1.3 seconds behind him in eighth. Grosjean started from P8 on the grid on his qualifying medium compound tyres. He changed to scrubbed mediums on lap 11 and new hards on lap 33. Maldonado started from P11 on new medium tyres, changing to new mediums on lap 12, and new hards on lap 36.

Romain Grosjean, P7, E23-04:
“We finished with both cars in the points so I’m definitely happy with that! When it came to my own race we were a little bit slow against the Force India. We tried to fight Nico Hulkenberg but couldn’t. I really struggled with the tyres at the end – it seems the new Pirelli limits hurt us more than our rivals so we’ll work around that for the next race. Overall though, we’ve had a good result as a team.”

Pastor Maldonado, P8, E23-03:
“It was a good race for us and we really deserved a happy result today after pushing hard all weekend. It’s a shame we weren’t able to keep Hulkenberg behind us so we’ll review the strategy and performance to see if there was more we could have done. The team has been united all weekend, we scored some nice points and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal:
“It’s a great result for all of the team after a reasonably challenging weekend. It just goes to show that you can never discount an Enstone team no matter what the circumstances. We have to say thank you to all the crew at the track for working through a slightly unusual situation as well as thank you to Bernie for his help behind the scenes. We’re looking forward to continuing to fight back in Sochi.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“It’s great to get both cars solidly in the points and score more than our immediate championship rivals Force India and Toro Rosso. Force India looked stronger than us in the race and we didn’t have the pace to match Hulkenberg today. It was nevertheless a good performance from both drivers and the entire team.”

 

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean

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

British GP post race: Lotus

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team on the grid. British Grand Prix, Sunday 5th July 2015. Silverstone, England.

Romain Grosjean.

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 E23 on the grid. British Grand Prix, Sunday 5th July 2015. Silverstone, England.

Pastor Maldonado.

 

Lotus F1 Team’s hopes for the British Grand Prix evaporated before the completion of the first lap after an incident instigated retirement for both Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado. Contact between Daniel Riccardo’s Red Bull and Maldonado’s E23 led to contact with and damage to the latter’s car; Grosjean retired almost immediately whereas Maldonado was able to complete more of his lap before being told to park and retire.

Grosjean started from P12 on the grid on fresh medium compound tyres.
Maldonado started from P14 on the grid on new medium compound tyres.

Romain Grosjean, DNF, E23-04:
“That was a very short race for the team and I feel for everyone here at Silverstone and at Enstone. Daniel must have thought his brakes and tyres would be able to slow him better than they did and the result was the end of both my and Pastor’s race. No-one likes to end a Grand Prix like that as so much effort goes into making and preparing the cars. I know we have many fans who want to see us race so I feel for them too. Budapest is next, and we’ve gone well there in the past. I’m pumped-up to fight for every single point available.”

Pastor Maldonado, DNF, E23-03:
“At first I thought I had a puncture and would be able to return to the pits and re-join the race but unfortunately the damage to the car was more serious than that and I had to retire. There is nothing you can do in situations like these as it’s all part of racing. Now my focus is on the next race where we’ll be trying our very best as always.”

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal:
“Motorsport is sometimes a cruel sport and we saw that today. There was nothing either of our drivers could have done to avoid the first lap incident and that was our race over. It’s been a frustrating home weekend for us. We weren’t able to show the pace we have in the car, we’ve suffered from a few niggles, then it was a very early bath for both our guys. Our focus is now very much on Budapest and doing everything we can to ensure we perform at the best of our ability there.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director:
“Both Romain and Pastor were the victims of over-exuberance at the start of the race meaning that both returned to the garage for a very short debrief after only a lap on track. It’s now a rapid return to Enstone to put everything we can into preparing the cars for Hungary and our next opportunity for a points haul.”

 

(L to R): Julien Simon-Chautemps (FRA) Lotus F1 Team Race Engineer with Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team on the grid. British Grand Prix, Sunday 5th July 2015. Silverstone, England.

(L to R): Julien Simon-Chautemps, Team Race Engineer with Romain Grosjean.

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team with Mark Slade (GBR) Lotus F1 Team Race Engineer on the grid. British Grand Prix, Sunday 5th July 2015. Silverstone, England.

Pastor Maldonado with Mark Slade, Team Race Engineer on the grid.

Second pre-season test: final day

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 4 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

Lotus F1 ended the final day of pre-season testing early after a systems issue compromised Pastor Maldonado’s braking into turn four resulting in him making contact with the barriers. Maldonado had previously completed 36 laps, mainly aero and comparison work. With the E23 hybrid requiring a reasonable amount of rectification work for the damage sustained to the front wing and front suspension, the team opted to end the day’s running early. Maldonado’s best time from the morning assessment was 1min 28.272secs.

Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E23-02
Weather: Cloudy, early spots of rain, then sunny. Ambient 10°C – 22°C Track 12°C – 31°C

Programme: Aero assessments including back to back aero component evaluations
Laps Completed: 36
Classification: P8, 1:28.272
Interruptions: Barrier

Pastor Maldonado: “It was a shame to end the day early, but that was the only issue we’ve had like this during testing so we can look to the positive that we have a lot of information to take the car in the right direction. My braking was compromised coming into turn four, meaning I went off the track and hit the barriers. I was able to brake and slow, just not as much as the maximum otherwise possible. The car was not too badly damaged and I am fine, but it’s a shame we had this issue as we would have been looking at running the softer tyres in the afternoon and putting in some fast laps. I’m looking forward to getting back in the car in Melbourne as I think we have good potential this season.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director: “Certainly ending the final pre-season test in the barriers was not part of our game plan, but overall we’ve had a productive two weeks here in Barcelona following on from our initial outing in Jerez. Pastor was unfortunate to have a braking-related issue which meant he wasn’t able to slow sufficiently into turn four and the car was damaged. There was nothing Pastor or any driver could have done to avoid this accident which was systems related and we’re investigating thoroughly to ensure it doesn’t happen again. We now have a quick turn-around to get the car back to Enstone, then shipped out to Australia at the end of the week. It was a pity we weren’t able to run any low fuel laps later in the day. We are looking forward to Melbourne where we will get a full picture of the relative pace of the E23.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 4 -  Barcelona, Spain Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 4 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

 

Williams

Driver: Valtteri Bottas
Chassis/Engine: FW37-01/PU106B Hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Performance and Aero work
Weather: Warm and Dry
Air and track temps: 10 – 21ºC / 12 – 32ºC

Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “Today’s programme was similar to yesterday, as we try to get the drivers in the best position before heading to Australia. Due to this the focus was more on performance with a mixture of long and short runs rather than just reliability work. Both drivers have worked extremely hard throughout the test and the entire team have worked very well together. We are really looking forward to Melbourne.”

Valtteri Bottas: “It was a really good day and a great way to finish the test. One of the main points we have learnt is that the FW37 is very reliable. The car we are taking to Melbourne is very competitive and should make for an interesting start to the season. We have made the most out of our time testing and I need to say a really big thanks to the team, not only trackside but also everyone back at the factory as they have produced a really quick and reliable car.”

 

Winter testing came to an end with another productive day for Sahara Force India. Sergio Perez completed his first miles in the VJM08, clocking 130 laps at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona.

Sergio Perez #11
Chassis: VJM08-01
Laps: 130 laps
Mileage: 605km
Fastest lap: 1:25.113
Classification: P6 of 9

Sergio Perez: “My first day in the car has been a good one, with a very high number of laps and a good atmosphere in the team. It’s no secret that we have some catch-up to do but I am optimistic: the team has a clear direction to work towards and we have been able to collect a large amount of data in such a short time which will help all those working back at base. Every run we do, here or at the races, teaches us a lot and moves us closer to where we want to be. Now we must focus on Melbourne: I am really excited about going racing again, the first race of the season is always a special one and one to which you really look forward since the end of the previous season.”

Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer: “Our pre-season testing comes to an end with a solid 130 laps. Today was Sergio’s first day in the VJM08 and, as he got accustomed to the new car, we continued our work of understanding its behaviour, trying various set-ups in both performance and long runs. All we have done in these tests in Barcelona will help us prepare for Melbourne, and even though we may arrive with less mileage than others, we have gathered lots of valuable data. We are making rapid progress with the car and we have a lot of material to analyse back at the factory ahead of the first flyaways. This last week’s work highlights the spirit of this team: credit must go to everyone involved with the design, manufacturing and assembly of the car. It has been a massive effort from everyone in the team and to get so many laps is testament to the great work done by all.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 4 -  Barcelona, Spain Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 4 -  Barcelona, Spain

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