Supersoaker – Malaysian GP, Qualifying
Saturday 29th March 2014
Romain Grosjean will start from sixteenth and Pastor Maldonado seventeenth after a wet and wild rain-delayed qualifying session at the Sepang International Circuit for the 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix. Pastor just missed out on the cut to make it into Q2 after a red flag interrupted his run, whilst Romain was running well in Q1 and at a strong pace for much of Q2, before dropping positions late in his run when his rivals changed to new tyres.
Romain Grosjean, E22-03. Q: P16, 2:02.885. FP3: P15, 1:42.749 “It was definitely a good surprise to reach Q2 today, and I think we would have had the potential to reach Q3 had it not been for a miscommunication towards the end of the session when I should have come in for new tyres. At the moment we’re just trying to make the best of everything we have and then to put that together. It’s clear there has been some good progression; today we made some strong improvements and didn’t have many problems, so we just need a bit more of that! The car was on the track when we wanted it to be, and we were able to try a few different things – some of which worked, and some of which didn’t – and it was a good Q1. Q2 could have been better, but overall we’ll hope that everything goes well tomorrow and then we’ll take it from there.”
Pastor Maldonado, E22-01. Q: P17, 2:02.074. FP3: P16, 1:43.539 “I was on a good flying lap when the red flag came out and, for sure, I would have improved my position if I had been able to finish my lap. At the same time, I think we were a bit late with new tyres, so we’ll need to analyse that. In these conditions it’s a bit like a lottery, and this time I was unlucky. The important and positive thing is that the car is running quite well, and there were no problems today, which is very good. We’re very happy and hopefully this is a big step forwards and we can start to develop our performance from here.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Plenty still to come.”
How was qualifying for the team? It was a difficult session. Pastor struggled to find grip after having so little track time all weekend. Romain had a very good Q1 and was looking strong in Q2 before a mis-communication meant he didn’t come in to change to a new set of tyres. These should have left him very close to the top ten.
Any difficulties with the cars today? We’ve certainly taken a step forwards. I’m happy that our cars have run when we’ve wanted them to run and we can start to learn about how to extract more performance from them. We have learnt some more about wet weather performance too, which could come in useful tomorrow.
What are the hopes for tomorrow’s race? Obviously, we want to be as reliable as possible and get as many laps as we can as that is how we learn and develop. Both Pastor and Romain are coping well with all the difficulties we have faced so far this weekend so we’re certain they will deliver the very best that circumstances allow.