Lotus ART Grand Prix press release
Lotus ART leaves Monza with a 3rd place finish in the drivers' championship. Drivers Jules Bianchi and Esteban Gutierrez experienced a tough, frustrating qualifying session, in spite of Lotus ART and their drivers’ potential. Jules, perturbed by a technical problem, placed in 19th and Esteban, after his crash at the beginning of the session, placed 25th on the grid for the first race.
Jules and Esteban both had a great performance in the first race, moving up to 8th and 9th places, respectively. In the second race, Jules fell back to third position in the first corner, and wrapped up his season with a podium, which in turn secured him a podium in the drivers’ championship, while Esteban moved up to 6th place, which enabled him to walk away with a final point for the season, one in which he was one of the few rookies to secure a win.
Jules Bianchi : “The Monza races sum up the whole season: with highs and lows. We finished the year on the podium for the championship, and that is a good result overall. Handicapped by a technical problem during the session, I lost big in my last qualifying lap because there were two yellow flags, and P19 on the starting grid forced me to take risks in the race. Moving up to 8th place, and the pole position for the second race, was therefore a lesser evil in terms of the championship. Unfortunately, I skated too much at the start and once in 3rd position we were not fast enough to catch up with Vietoris and Leimer. After a difficult start to the year – I was in 15th after 8 races – we managed to get back on an even keel but we were too far behind. Nevertheless, we demonstrated that we were among the fastest and that we had the technical and human potential to play the top roles and that is what we need to keep in mind for the future.”
Esteban Gutierrez : “After an encouraging practice, I lost control of the car and hit the barriers in qualifying. It was my mistake and it cost us dearly. I was 25th on the starting grid and had nothing to lose. The key was a good start and good timing for the pit stop. I gained several positions in the first lap and we were the first to pit to change tyres. I was very happy to take the chequered flag in 9th position, even though one position higher would have given me the pole position for the second race. I wanted to secure a point to finish the season on a high note and I made it. I learned a great deal this season, Lotus ART supported me all the time and it bodes well for the future.”
Frederic Vasseur : “At the start of the year our goal was the title, and we cannot be satisfied with 3rd place but the competition was very strong and we paid dearly for our inconsistency at the start of the year. That said, I am proud of Lotus ART because the team never gave up and managed to resolve its problems starting from midseason. Jules and Esteban each won a race and they managed to pull the team up. The second part of the season is very encouraging for the future.”