Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado endured a frustrating first day of the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit. Various glitches of differing magnitudes curtailed running for both drivers in the morning session, the most serious of which being an engine-related issue for Pastor, the resultant engine change precluding him from running in the afternoon. Romain’s afternoon saw a collection of issues too, with a wiring problem preventing his gearbox from working correctly.
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director – Technical programme notes
We evaluated a number of upgrades including aerodynamic, mechanical, software and electronic developments today.
Pirelli’s hard (orange) compound tyre was used in the first session, the hard and medium (white) in the afternoon.
Pastor did not run in the afternoon due to an engine change.
Romain stopped because of a wiring problem with his gearbox.
What we learned today:
We have lots of work to do tomorrow.
Romain Grosjean, E22-03
Free practice 1: No time set, 4 laps completed
Free practice 2: P17, 1:42.531, 14 laps
Romain: “We have to work and try to solve all our issues. We are focusing on every issue we encounter. This morning we couldn’t do any laps, and this afternoon we burnt a cable which stopped the gearbox from working. Of course I don’t get out of the car with a smile when my car is parked out on track and is not working, and you do swear a little bit in your head! But as I’ve said before, it’s only the second race of the season and we always knew we would be starting on the back foot. We will get to where we want to be.”
Pastor Maldonado, E22-01
Free practice 1: No time set, 2 laps completed
Free practice 2: Did not run
Pastor: “Our problems today were centred around the power unit. Hopefully we have fixed everything ahead of tomorrow and will be able to do enough for FP3 and qualifying. It’s important for the team and it’s important for me to be able to test the car and push a little bit, as it was not the case in the first race. It’s tough as each time we’re expecting to be better and better. We’ve been working so hard, the mechanics, the engineers, together with Renault Sport F1. We just need to try and be strong enough to accept when we have a problem and as soon as everything is fixed, be ready to be out and attack immediately.”
Nick Chester, Technical Director: “Not a great day, quite far from it in fact. Both cars were delayed in the morning with mapping issues. Pastor then suffered from a turbo-related problem with his car. This meant we needed to remove the engine and subsequently he was unable to run in the afternoon. Romain was able to get some more laps in the afternoon, however a wiring issue caused difficulties with his gearbox. More lessons learnt, and we’ll be focusing on getting as much mileage as possible tomorrow.”