The Lotus F1® Team gain valuable points in the 6th round of the 2014 F1®
Championship competition, thanks, in part, to an ever erratic Monaco GP.
Monaco, the grand dame of F1® racing circuits showed again yesterday why
this most prestigious of races is still arguably the most challenging
and certainly the most unforgiving race in the calendar.
For the Lotus F1® Team, it was a bag of mixed fortunes. Pastor had
qualified in P15 but suffered a fuel pump issue on the starting grid and
was unable to begin the race. Romain began from P14 but was also unlucky
when a shunt from behind, in the early laps, caused the Frenchman to pit
and repair a puncture. He then re-joined the race but at the very back
of the grid.
When further mistakes by other drivers led to yet more collisions,
Romain was able to use this to his advantage, ascending several places.
He then battled hard, navigating well, and kept his concentration in an
unpredictable and volatile race. Nudging his way forward and keeping out
of trouble, he went onto sit comfortably in P11. As the competition
heated up at the front of the pack, this inevitably led to more circuit
drama. Subsequent retirements, pushed Romain up to P9, and into the
points. He went onto to take the flag in P9, but thanks to his P8
opponent having been reprimanded with a 5s penalty, this propelled
Romain yet one more place, classifying him as the P8 holder, and
awarding the team 4 points.
Romain Grosjean P8 E22-03: “It’s good to finish the race here for
the first time in my career and it’s good to get some points too. It
started as a pretty bad Sunday for us with a puncture for me on the
first lap after Adrian [Sutil] drove into me. We swapped to the soft
tyres but it was impossible to overtake on these so we came back in for
the super softs. The safety car timing didn’t help us as we’d just gone
out on the new tyres, but that’s Monaco. You can have thousands of
misfortunes in the race, but still be in the points at the end!"
Pastor Maldonado DNF E22-01: “We don’t know yet precisely what
happened. The engine switched off after 30 seconds. When we did out laps
to the grid the car and the power unit were working well. We need to
work to find out what the problem was. It is disappointing and I was
expecting a solid race, we had a good strategy in place, I love this
circuit where I have been competitive in the past. We have already
worked hard on performance and reliability but today it was not to be.
This afternoon we’re not happy but we are keeping focused on improving."
Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal: "It has been a
disappointing weekend for us. Pastor’s car didn’t make it to the start
of the race because of what looks like a fuel pump problem. Romain was
hit from behind the first lap and got a puncture so we had to pit him
early unfortunately. From then on, it was a long afternoon at the back
of the field and in the end we were lucky with retirements and managed
to score four points for an eighth place finish. We now look ahead to
the next race and will work hard to correct issues we have seen here
this weekend to get back up to an acceptable level of performance.”
The team now head to Canada for the next round of the Championship,
which takes place in Montreal on 8th June 2014.