Sunday, 19 April 2015

Points mean prizes for the Lotus F1 Team as Grosjean's run continues

(Lotus F1 Team)

The Lotus F1 Team had another great race following on from scoring their first points of the season last weekend in China, Romain Grosjean picked up another points finish as he ended the Bahrain night race in 7th place to give the Enstone outfit 6 points. Speaking following the race the Frenchman who started the race from 10th place stated:

It had been a tough weekend until now for me, so it was really great to get another strong seventh position. Today’s race was great, especially as there was lots of overtaking. I was really hoping to catch Daniel Ricciardo but he was too quick for us today. It was quite difficult to manage tyres, especially with the rears so I think we did a good job to make the two-stop strategy work. We only had new medium compound tyres for the race, the rest were scrubbed, so it really was a great job by the team. It was a good recovery from Friday and Saturday’s session and I’ll happily take seventh place as my birthday gift for myself and the team.

Despite recording the fastest pit-stop of the race Pastor Maldonado struggled in Bahrain and finished the Grand Prix in 15th place having started the race from 16th. Speaking following the race the Venezuelan who had an issue in his final pit-stop stated:

That was a frustrating race for me. I pushed as hard as possible at the start on the medium tyres whilst everyone around me was on the grippier soft compound rubber. Once I moved to the soft tyres I was able to set the race’s then fastest lap so things looked good with our strategy. Unfortunately the engine anti-kill triggered when I came in to make my final pit stop which cost me a lot of time. It’s frustrating as we should have finished strongly. My focus is now Barcelona where I’ve delivered very strongly in the past.

The head to the Barcelona Circuit Du Catalunya for the start of the European season at the Spanish Grand Prix in three weeks in 6th place in the championship on 12 points, just seven behind the Sauber F1 Team. Speaking following the race Lotus Deputy Team Principal Frederico Gastaldi stated:

Congratulations to Romain once more for a strong race and thank you to the race team for some great pit work as well as engineering over the weekend to get the car to Romain’s liking so he could deliver today. It’s thanks to the hard work of everyone at Enstone that we can score points like we did here in Bahrain. Pastor had a difficult race and we need to investigate exactly what went wrong so we can improve for our next time out.

Lotus head to Barcelona with a significant upgrade package for the E23 Hybrid however their rivals will also use the three week break to fine tune their own cars ahead of the start of the European leg of the season. Speaking following the Bahrain Grand Prix, Lotus F1 Team Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane commented saying:

That was an excellent, straight-forward copybook race from Romain. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace to challenge the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo today but we were ahead of the rest of our near rivals. We were able to complete some very quick pit stops, which helped both drivers during the course of the race. For Pastor we ran with a different strategy to most of the field, with a three-stop strategy, starting on the harder medium compound Pirellis. This looked to be working very well and Pastor should have finished around the same position as Romain however a five-second pit stop penalty and the engine-kill activating when he entered the pits extinguished any opportunity of a strong result.

© Ben Johnston 2015

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