The back of the Melbourne grid for Lotus

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Little illusion machine

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado will start from the back of the grid for the season opening Australian Grand Prix after a tough and trying qualifying session at Albert Park. Romain completed six laps in Q1, however a mapping issue prevented him from setting a lap faster than the 21^st quickest. Technical issues with Pastor’s car prevented him from setting a timed lap.

Romain Grosjean, E22-03. Q: P21, 1:36.993. FP3: No time
“We had a lot of problems today and every time we fixed one another one comes along! The guys are working very hard and it’s a tough situation for everyone. We just have to learn everything we can every time we are out in the car on the track. Yes it's frustrating, but I'm the one who has the easiest life as I’m not working all night on the car. The whole team is here to win, so when it doesn't go to plan it's not great. It could still be made into a monster of a car if we all pull together as a team. We've been through some tough times in the past so we'll work our way out of it.”

Pastor Maldonado, Lotus F1 E21
Pastor Maldonado, Lotus F1 E21

Photo by: XPB Images

Pastor Maldonado, E22-01. Q: P22, No time. FP3: P18, 1:34.754
“It's been quite difficult today. We're working very hard and we need to be optimistic. On the plus side, we're not the only ones with problems. We'll keep on working hard and try to work harder than the others. It was a power unit related issue which meant we were so late to the track. By that time it started to rain, and then, that's it! We just need to stay focussed and keep on working and that’s exactly what we’re doing. For the race we'll just do the best we can. Our pace should be quite good; we just need to put the laps together.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“There’s not much you can say about that.”

How was qualifying for the team?
Today was not a reflection of all the hard work going on at Enstone and on track to get ourselves where we want to be. Qualifying at the back of the grid is not why we’re here. We had distinct and identifiable issues and we are working hard to rectify these with the full support of our partners. The determination and resolve of the race team, everyone at Enstone and everyone at Renault Sport F1 should not be underestimated.

What issues were there with the cars?
Pastor had a small issue related to his power unit which prevented him from leaving the garage at the start of the session. And then it started to rain. Romain had an issue with the mapping of his car after he left the pits which affected his braking and ability to set a faster lap.

What are the hopes for tomorrow’s race?
Obviously we’ll be trying everything we can to salvage something from this weekend. Any opportunity to have the cars on track is beneficial as we are learning all the time. It’s clear we have work to do. We are doing that work.

Lotus F1 Team

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About this article
Series F1
Article type Qualifying reports
Tags australia, lotus, melbourne, pastor maldonado, romain grosjean

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