Romain Grosjean finished just shy of the points whilst Pastor
Maldonado had to retire from a promising but ultimately rather
frustrating Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International
Circuit. Romain ran as high as third during the race, but later
traffic and an induced 360° spin meant a P11 finish. Pastor
suffered from a first lap puncture then had to retire nine laps
from the chequered flag due to a braking issue.
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 E23 leads team
mate Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 E23. Malaysian Grand Prix,
Sunday 29th March 2015.
Sepang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
• Romain started from P10 on the grid on his qualifying
medium compound tyres, changing to new mediums on lap 15 and
scrubbed mediums on lap 26. His final tyre change was to new
hards on lap 34.
• Pastor started from P12 on the grid with new medium compound
tyres, coming in at the end of the first lap to change to
another set of new mediums due to a rear right puncture. He
subsequently changed to scrubbed mediums on lap 18 and new hards
on lap 33. He retired nine laps before the end of the race due
to a braking issue.
Romain Grosjean, P11, E23-02
“Overall we had quite a good race with a strong first lap and
some nice overtaking, although I lost a lot of time behind
Hulkenberg and then the spin with Perez in such a fast corner. I
had some fun overtaking with Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Force
India, which was great, and we had a good strategy but we lost
too much time to benefit from it. I also had an issue with my
drinks bottle which added to the fun. Overall the car behaved
well though and we’re not far from the top ten so we’ll work to
close the gap for China."
Pastor Maldonado, DNF, E23-03
“The potential is clearly there, especially in the race where
the car pace is very competitive and we can score good points.
Unfortunately there was an incident on the first lap which lost
me a lot of time and compromised the race from then on. Despite
dropping to the very back fo the field, we switched to a
different strategy and we recovered well. Unfortunately, we
suffered from a brake issue, which isn’t great but it’s
effectively our first race and we need to keep working through
issues, ready for the next Grand Prix. As soon as we have a
clean race, we will be fighting for good points."
Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal
"Today was about unfulfilled potential. Both Pastor and Romain
could have scored strongly but events out of their hands meant
they did not. That’s motor racing sometimes and we’re firmly
focused on China to open our points account. We’ve shown again
that the E23 is a great package and both our drivers are capable
of delivering with the very best. Shanghai will present a
challenge very different from the one seen here so that’s our
Nick Chester, Technical Director
"Romain was looking set for a pretty strong result however
traffic and being tipped into a spin undid that potential whilst
Pastor suffered from a first lap puncture then a problem with
the brakes late in the race. It’s a shame as we demonstrated
good pace in qualifying and reasonable race pace in clear air in
the very high temperatures here today. We’re very eager to get
back out on track in Shanghai and we’re learning more about the
E23’s potential every time it’s out on track."