Romain Grosjean enjoyed a season-best qualifying performance by setting the tenth fastest time at a wet Shanghai International Circuit for the Chinese Grand Prix. Romain set a lap of 1min 57.079secs using intermediate tyres. He had earlier set the third fastest time in the also wet morning practice session. Pastor Maldonado was unable to start the qualifying session due to a power unit related issue. He had set the sixth fastest time in FP3.
Romain Grosjean, E22-03. Q: P10, 1:57.079. FP3: P3, 1:54.514
“It is good to be in Q3. We have made good progress this weekend. Things went better this morning than in qualifying this afternoon and so we had maybe even higher hopes. I’m not sure why we didn’t feel as much performance this afternoon than in FP3. I also suffered with the tyres and the conditions change a little from this morning too but it has been a while since we’ve been in Q3! We are hoping for a good race for tomorrow and hopefully we can stay in the top ten.”
Pastor Maldonado, E22-01. Q:DNS. FP3: P6, 1:55.228
“For sure we are not happy to have missed qualifying. Tomorrow will be another day and the race is very long. I remain optimistic and I’ll do my best as always but it’s not a very good situation to be dealing with, but we are working very hard to keep improving. We saw Romain qualify in the top ten today and I was sixth fastest in the morning so we are making improvements.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“It was a mixed qualifying but we are happy to have got through to Q3.”
How was qualifying for the team?
It was a very mixed qualifying. Obviously we’re very sorry to see Pastor not taking part, and we’re sorry to him and all his crew. For Romain it’s been a reasonable day – we had a very good FP3, and although qualifying was not as good as the morning session, it was positive to get through to Q3. I think we were hopeful of a little bit more, so we just need to understand where we lacked a little. Overall it’s pleasing to get the car back up where it should be.
What was the issue with Pastor’s car?
The engine developed a leak this morning in FP3 and we had to change it. There was just no way we could get it changed over in time for qualifying this afternoon so unfortunately it meant he was unable to take part.
What are the hopes for tomorrow’s race?
There is good potential. I think Romain qualified with a similar pace today as he would have had it be dry, so I think we can be confident of scoring well tomorrow.
Lotus F1 Team