Pastor Maldonado finished fourteenth and Romain Grosjean sixteenth after a fast-paced Italian Grand Prix under blue skies at Monza.
Pastor made a great start and drove an impeccable race whilst Romain suffered from a broken sidepod element affecting downforce and a downshift issue on his way to the chequered flag.
Romain started from P17 on new hard compound tyres, pitting on lap 20 for a set of new medium compound tyres and for a piece of bodywork to be removed. Pastor started from P16 on new medium compound tyres, pitting on lap 21 for a set of new hard tyres.
Romain Grosjean, P16, E22-03: “I had a dreadful start and was last by the first corner. I was on the hard tyres for the first stint and this made it difficult to fight back. I’m not sure what happened with Esteban [Gutierrez]. He was overtaking me, but then under braking he moved over on to me. My front wing was where he was trying to be so we touched. Not too much damage for me, but he had a puncture as a result. Certainly, I don’t think the tracks we will visit next will be as challenging for us as this one has been.”
Pastor Maldonado, P14, E22-04: “I made a good start and a strong first lap which gave me a better position than on the grid as I was able to get past the Saubers. From there I tried to attack the Toro Rosso ahead of me, but their configuration for the straights was too much to overcome. This meant we were running at a consistent pace without any fear from the cars behind, but equally without pace in the right place to attack the cars ahead. It was quite uneventful today but good to get to the finish line.”
Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal: "We saw a very strong race today from Pastor who didn’t put a foot wrong and extracted the maximum from our current package. Romain’s race was a little more difficult but he drove around the small issues he experienced to bring his car home too. Monza has certainly been a difficult venue for us this year; let’s hope for better results in Singapore.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: "Fourteenth isn’t where we want to finish but today’s race did give us some signs of encouragement. Pastor’s pace was much closer to that of the cars in front of us, and he drove an exemplary race. Both cars were reliable although Romain lost a part of his sidepod and also experienced some downshift issues later in the race which hurt him in the very important braking zones here. We’ve taken another small step in understanding the car this weekend which helps us for the next races.”
Simon Rebreyend, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “We knew this race would be a challenge but we extracted the maximum potential we could from the Power Unit, with all systems working on point in every area. Pastor finished two places up on his starting slot whilst Romain gained a position but we know that Singapore will suit the stronger points of the car a lot more than here so we’ll get straight into preparations now.”
Lotus F1 Team