Rivals helped Lotus out of tyre blanket drama


Lotus praised rivals Sauber, Toro Rosso and Ferrari for helping it out of a tyre blanket drama at the Italian Grand Prix that could have dramatically hurt its qualifying chances.

The Enstone-based outfit found it was down to just three sets of tyre blankets on each car for Saturday after overnight rain had short-circuited all its other sets.

The team battled through a difficult final practice session, but feared that qualifying would be severely compromised if it could only heat three sets of tyres for the whole session.

However, immediate offers of help from its rivals meant it could run normally, with Romain Grosjean taking another Q3 spot, as he ended up eighth, with Pastor Maldonado three places further back.

Huge thanks

Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane told Motorsport.com that the situation had been triggered by the downpour that hit Monza overnight.

"We came in this morning to torrential rain and loads of our tyre blankets had got wet and stopped working," said Permane.

"We were down to three sets per car, which firstly stopped us running properly in P3, because we could only heat one set and then had to get our qualifying tyres on heat. It really would have limited us in qualifying.

"And luckily, thank God, Sauber, Ferrari, and Toro Rosso all lent us sets – I can't thank them enough for that really. We would have been stumped without it.

"We would have been only able to run three sets of tyres in qualifying for each car and that would have compromised our qualifying severely. "

Permane said he was particularly delighted that Sauber and Toro Rosso, who Lotus are locked in a tight constructors' championship battle with, were so willing to help.

"There was no hesitation from people," he added. "Teams like Sauber and Toro Rosso are absolutely our direct competitors and they were only too happy.."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Italian GP
Track Monza
Teams Lotus F1 Team
Article type Breaking news