After a mixed qualifying session for the Austrian Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean qualified P9 and Pastor Maldonado P10.
Both Lotus F1 Team drivers started Q1 using Pirelli’s intermediate tyres as the track dried from earlier rainfall, before swapping to super soft slicks for the rest of qualifying. Pastor was unlucky to miss out on the top ten Q3 session, whilst Romain’s bad luck came after he had started Q3, with a hydraulic leak. Both drivers move up a position for tomorrow’s race after a grid penalty for Daniil Kyvat.
Romain Grosjean, E23-04. Q: P10, no time set. FP3: P9, 1:10.863
“That was frustrating as we should be qualifying higher than P9. I went out for Q3 but it was immediately apparent that there was an issue and the team called me back in. It was a hydraulic leak which we thought we could fix, but sadly we just missed out on going out again. Starting from P9 is not the end of the world and it could be an interesting race tomorrow; I’ll be pushing all the way to make up as many places as possible.”
Pastor Maldonado, E23-03. Q: P10, 1:10.374 FP3: P10, 1:10.576
“It was quite a busy qualifying session with the track drying and everyone trying to get their fast laps in when the surface was at its best. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get a clean, fast lap at the vital moment to get into the top ten, but at least we are the first of the cars able to choose our starting tyres tomorrow. It’s a great track here so we could still score a great result.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Not ideal but the race should be a different matter.”
How was qualifying for the team?
Qualifying started positively but unfortunately we weren’t able to meet our expectations. Pastor didn’t make it into Q3 then Romain suffered from a hydraulic leak at the start of that final session meaning it’s P9 and P10 for us tomorrow.
What are the considerations for tomorrow’s race?
Our primary consideration is how to work our way up the order. Romain will start with his qualifying tyres whilst Pastor has free choice so there’s potential for different strategies. As we’ve seen this weekend, the weather’s a variable so we’ll be looking at a variety of permutations. Friday’s running highlighted that we can show good pace here so we’re looking for a strong race.
Lotus F1 Team