Lotus: Fifth on the grid is a good place to be

Romain Grosjean will start from a season-high of fifth on the grid, whilst Pastor Maldonado will start from the back of the field after qualifying for tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Pastor went off the track and damaged his car at the start of his first Q1 flying lap. Romain kept the team in suspense by only just making it into Q2, before delivering a sensational Q3 lap to place him fifth on the grid.

Romain Grosjean, E22-03.

  • Q: P5, 1:26.960. FP3: P5, 1:27.682

“It’s very positive for everybody in the team to be on the third row of the grid. It’s where we want to be and there is certainly more to come. The race should be interesting. It’s difficult to overtake on this track and we’ll be looking to save the tyres as much as possible in the first stint to see how far as we can go with them. We will see what we can achieve tomorrow but it goes without saying that it would be good to finally score some points.”

Pastor Maldonado, E22-01.

  • Q: P22, no time set.  FP3: P9, 1:28.076

“I had a big chance of doing well in the session but unfortunately I lost the car with big snap oversteer in the exit of the corner in turn 3. We need to have a look at what happened and work to get ready for tomorrow. We were quite competitive today in terms of pace and kept improving throughout the weekend. With tyres available for the race we can work on the strategy and hopefully recover places on Sunday.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: Fifth on the grid is a good place to be for tomorrow’s race and it’s thanks to a great job from Romain, the crew and everyone back at Enstone. It was a real shame for Pastor to miss out on the chance to set a lap in qualifying as he’s shown strong pace all weekend. He will have his work cut out in the race, but we’ll do everything we can to help him move up the order.

Romain hasn’t found the car the easiest for extracting pace here but we can see that it’s coming together. It was a tricky day for him on Friday but we saw the potential in practice this morning when he was fifth fastest. To carry that pace through to qualifying itself underlines the progress made.

In terms of tyre strategy there aren’t too many options as long runs seem possible on both compounds, so there are no particular pitfalls to avoid. For both cars we’re hoping for strong starts and good race pace to finish as strongly as possible.