Let The Good Times Roll – 2015 Monaco GP, Thursday

Thursday 21st May

Lotus F1 Team experienced a strong first day of running for the Monaco Grand Prix with Pastor Maldonado setting the sixth fastest time in the morning session and Romain Grosjean tenth fastest in the afternoon. The day started damp before FP1, then rain visited the second session.

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director – Technical programme notes 

  • Reasonably straightforward programmes in both sessions
  • The second session was interrupted by a red flag, followed by a significant period of rain
  • Pastor’s lap times in the second session reflect the fact that he did not get a clear lap
  • Pirelli’s intermediate (green) and soft (yellow) compound tyres were used in both session

What we learned today:                       

  • The E23 Hybrid looks to have strong potential for the unique challenge that is the Monaco Grand Prix.

Romain Grosjean, E23-04
Free practice 1: P13, 1:20.274, 34 laps
Free practice 2: P10, 1:19.266, 13 laps

Romain: “We had a good day. Pastor was happy this morning, I was more happy with the car this afternoon. It’s a track where you really need to drive to find the best set up and we made some good progress today so I’m happy with that. Of course the rain in the afternoon wasn’t ideal to evaluate the super soft tyres but we’re going to do that on Saturday morning. Preparing for qualifying tends to be the focus at this race; no one did a long run today but I don’t think it’s very important to do one here. Saturday morning will be about prepping qualifying again and having two sets of super softs will be good!”

Pastor Maldonado, E23-03
Free practice 1: P6, 1:19.454, 35 laps
Free practice 2: P14, 1:19.577, 13 laps

Pastor: “The car didn’t go badly today, maybe even better than we expected. Of course, the track improves a lot lap by lap so it’s difficult to determine where you are exactly, but it was a good day even if we were interrupted by the rain in the afternoon. This meant we didn’t get time to run with the super softs, but I think we should have time on Saturday morning and it will be interesting to see how the car reacts to the softer compound. Of course, qualifying in Monaco is always very important so we’ll do our best to get the car where we want it for then.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director: “We had quite a good first session with Pastor going sixth quickest. He was happy with the car this morning, whereas Romain wasn’t quite content with the grip and balance of the car. There were some changes made over the break and Romain was happier in FP2 as a result. Pastor never really got a good lap in the second session due to traffic and so didn’t show his speed. We’re satisfied with how the cars are going and I think come Saturday with some decent runs, they should get nicely up the timesheets for qualifying.”