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Pastor Maldonado will start P20 after being excluded from qualifying for a lack of fuel (Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd)
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Maldonado Excluded from Qualifying after Fuel Issue

The Lotus F1 Team had a more impressive qualifying session than in recent races, with Romain Grosjean finishing eleventh and Pastor Maldonado fifteenth at Silverstone. Unfortunately for the Venezuelan, a problem with the amount of fuel in his car meant he was excluded from qualifying and will start down in twentieth, ahead of only the Caterham’s.

Both Grosjean and Maldonado made it through to the second part of qualifying, but both missed out on the third part of qualifying after being caught out by the conditions and a yellow flag for the crashed Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez. In the end for Maldonado, it was irrelevant, as he was forced to stop on track after the team failed to put in enough fuel in his car. As a result, his times from the session were deleted, and he will have to start twentieth on Sunday.

“It was a good session for me despite the tricky weather conditions here today – certainly the rain was good for my garden,” joked Grosjean. “Q1 was tricky, but fortunately we used slick tyres at the right time. Unfortunately in Q2 I had a yellow flag in turn six otherwise I think that I would have been through to Q3.

“The car felt good in qualifying compared to the rest of the weekend and that is quite important for us. Everyone did a good job, worked very hard and now the car is where I like it to be. I hope that tomorrow it will be the case again and we can go from there and push as hard as we can to score points.”

Maldonado’s season has been one of problem after problem, and he suffered again at Silverstone. He managed to get into the second part of qualifying for only the second time this season, but ultimately will start near the back after the fuel problem.

“We had a lack of fuel during the second qualifying session which meant I had to stop the car out on track,” said Maldonado. “The team are investigating to find out what happened as otherwise the car felt good and we had a strong opportunity to be in the top ten. The pace was certainly there this morning and the car was doing what I wanted it to do.

“We had a good strategy through the difficult weather conditions today so naturally I’m a bit disappointed with where we ended up on the grid. Now the focus is to get the best result possible in tomorrow’s race.”