Romain Grosjean qualified in fifteenth and Pastor Maldonado nineteenth after a searing hot qualifying session at the Hockenheimring for the German Grand Prix.
Romain went through to the second qualifying session whilst Pastor returned to the garage after not making it through the first qualifying cut off.
Romain Grosjean (E22-03. Q: P15, 1:18.983. FP3: P16, 1:20.078): “We set ourselves the target of getting into Q2 and we achieved that, so that’s a very good job from the guys. We’re still not quite where we’d like to be; it’s not ideal to be out of the top ten but the car doesn’t feel too bad. We’ve just lost some downforce. The team were one of the first ones to use the interlinked suspension system so removing it is a big change. For the race tomorrow, there’s a chance the weather might change – everything can help so we’ll take the situation as it comes and make the most of it.”
Pastor Maldonado (E22-01. Q: P19, 1:20.195. FP3: P18, 1:20.466): “We are still working on gaining back some of the performance we have lost from the changes to the suspension. I think we can recover this pace, but it’s certainly affecting us. It’s a case of looking at every detail of how the suspension works without being connected as it was before and how this affects the aerodynamics. We’re working hard to put everything together and we should gain a few tenths that will put us back into fighting position. The race tomorrow is long and could be very hard, but we’ll keep pushing as always to get the best result we can.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“We will maximize every opportunity that presents itself.”
How was qualifying for the team? “Difficult. It’s clear we lack pace relative to our opposition and the suspension changes we’ve had to make for this weekend have made matters more difficult for us. Both Romain and Pastor did what they could with the E22, but it’s overall pace we need to find.”
What are the tyre performance considerations for tomorrow’s race? “Clearly the weather has been very hot in Germany for the past two days and we’ve been running with the softest two compounds from Pirelli’s 2014 range. We’ve had no particular worries with these tyres, we are mindful that there is potential for the weather to change. We’ll approach the race as any other, seeking to maximise every opportunity that presents itself.”
How else can the heat affect the cars and drivers? “Both of our drivers are tremendously fit and well-conditioned to perform in the most testing of conditions so there are no concerns on that front. We ran with a new cooling package here and experienced no issues with this and we’ve had no other heat-related concerns this weekend which is a positive, especially with the next race in Budapest, which can also be particularly hot.”
Lotus F1 Team