Lotus F1 Team endured a frustrating qualifying session at the Marina Bay Street Circuit with Pastor Maldonado qualifying in eighteenth and Romain Grosjean sixteenth for tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix. Both drivers’ efforts were hampered by power delivery issues during the course of their qualifying laps, where improved results relative to recent qualifying form looked probable.
Romain Grosjean, E22-03. Q: P16, 1:47.812. FP3: P17, 1:49.485
“We could have gotten up to P13 in qualifying today, the car was looking good and the team has been working very hard all weekend. I’m happy as I can be with the E22 so it’s frustrating to have had an issue on the power side, which cost me a lot of time. Everything can happen in the race so we will have to go for it.”
Pastor Maldonado, E22-02. Q: P18, 1:49.063. FP3: P18, 1:50.149
“Unfortunately we had some problems which meant we weren’t able to finish our qualifying lap with full power, and that penalised us a bit too much in the last sector. We are normally more competitive with race pace and we expect that here. We also have a lot of new tyres which we can play on strategy-wise. It’s a long race, the delta between all the cars is closer and that gives a good possibility to do well.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“The potential for a much improved qualifying performance was clear to see.”
How was qualifying for the team?
Very frustrating. The E22 has been working much better in high downforce here in Singapore and both drivers had the potential to qualify higher than we have seen for most of this season. Unfortunately, both experienced a similar issue related to the turbo wastegate which meant they lacked full power when they needed it most during qualifying.
What are the tyre considerations for the race?
Both compounds have been showing quite a bit of degradation so we imagine most teams will be looking at two or even three stops. If we can extract a decent performance life from the tyres we could have a bit of an advantage relative to the cars around us.
What could be possible tomorrow?
So far this season we’ve demonstrated superior race pace relative to our displays in qualifying. This means we are hopeful of still being able to produce a decent result tomorrow, albeit it compounds the frustration of losing out on the potential of better grid positions.