The Lotus F1 Team managed to get both cars to the finish of a Grand Prix for the first time in 2014, with Pastor Maldonado finishing twelfth and Romain Grosjean fourteenth after starting from the pit lane at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Venezuelan Maldonado took his best finish of the season at the Red Bull Ring in twelfth and moved off the bottom of the Drivers’ Championship, but suffered with brakes and fuel usage during the race. He is looking forward to Silverstone next time out after three Grand Prix that haven’t shown the best qualities of the Lotus car.
“For me in the car it was actually quite a good weekend,” said Maldonado. “We finished the race which is positive and we made the most of the package we had today. We are losing a lot of time in the slow speed corners and we need to keep improving in this area to be more like our good high-speed corner performance.
“Unfortunately we had some brake issues from very early on in the race so I wasn’t able to fight others around me, even though it was nice to be running in the top ten during the course of the race. After that, it was a case of saving fuel and brakes to get to the chequered flag. I think Silverstone will suit us much better.”
French Team-mate Grosjean started the race from the pit lane and could only move up to fourteenth at the chequered flag. He knows the team are working hard and have proved in the past they can make a good comeback from bad performances.
“Today hasn’t been easy,” said Grosjean. “We had various issues during the race to add to our struggle for overall performance so it was quite a challenge! We stopped very early for soft tyres but unfortunately we soon experienced graining from these which made it difficult for the rest of the race.
“Looking at the past, the team has always managed to make a great comeback. It might be a bit of a big build-up this time, but I know that we will work hard and do all we can to fight back to where we want to be.”
Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi believes there are some positives to be taken from the Austrian Grand Prix despite seeing the team fail to score points. He praised both drivers for their efforts and understands where Lotus need to improve to move forward.
“There are positives from today,” said Gastaldi. “Both cars made the chequered flag in what’s been a difficult race for many teams.
“Pastor and Romain really got their heads down and made the most of the cars under them and should be applauded for today’s drives. It is obvious where we are lacking against our rivals so our focus going forwards is clear.”