The Lotus F1 Team will arrive at the Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium this weekend hopeful of ending a disappointing run of races where neither Romain Grosjean nor Pastor Maldonado have scored a point. It has been five races since the Frenchman scored points, while for the Venezuelan, he has not scored since the Hungarian Grand Prix of 2013 whilst driving for Williams.
Grosjean is hopeful that the mid-season break can revitalise a flagging team, and bring them the results the Frenchman feels are not far away. He admits to having a tough season, especially after the highs of 2013, but he remains motivated and committed to the team, and hopes to help them move forward and return to the points for the first time since the Monaco Grand Prix in May.
“Spa as we all know is one of the best tracks we go to, if not the best of them all,” said Grosjean. “As a driver it is like a dream circuit with elevation change, quick corners, medium speed technical corners and some good straights for overtaking. It’s a circuit with a soul. I always enjoy racing here, as do most of the drivers. What I find memorable about Spa is not only the track but also the beautiful surroundings in the Ardennes forest.
“Despite the difficulties so far, I feel positive for the rest of the season to come. We have seen that there have been many issues since the start of the year and even before, but as with everything in life you have to look forward and this is exactly what I am doing. This is now my third full season in F1 and although the disappointments always hurt, I am also mature enough to know that when things get tough you are able to learn more and to try and work toward being successful again. I really hope we can do that together as a team for the remainder of the year. That is the aim.
“At the end of the day, all we as drivers can do is to do our best every time we get in the car. It has been a very hard year so far but you have to keep looking ahead and hoping that all of the bad luck, issues and tough times get paid back through our determination to make things better. Ever since I have been at Enstone I have seen this determination to succeed and it will help us. When you match these qualities to the skill of the technical team then we should get some rewards in the remaining races. We need to build some momentum and I will be going all out to make sure we get more points and exploit the best of the E22 for the rest of the season.
“Since Monaco we have had a succession of really hard races where for many reasons we have not been in the position to claim any points. For Spa I am hoping that there will be some improvements so we can show the potential, which has been seen on a few occasions like at Barcelona. We have to reverse the problems that have held us back and I believe that if we get that then we can post more points on the board.”
Team-mate Maldonado is still looking for his first point since joining the Enstone team from Williams. He hopes the issues that have blighted his season up to now are behind him, and he can begin to work his way towards the front. He knows 2014 is pretty much a write-off, but he hopes to take some momentum from the final races this year into 2015, and where better to start scoring points than at one of the circuits the Venezuelan enjoys driving on the most.
“It is an amazing circuit and for sure one of the best on the planet,” said Maldonado. “The sensations a driver experiences at corners like Eau Rouge/Raidillion, Pouhon and Blanchimont are not like you feel anywhere else in the world. It is unique in every way and to think you are competing on parts of the track that were used back in the first Grand Prix season in 1950 makes it very special indeed.
“It has been a very hard season and one in which there have been lots of issues. But now that is behind us and we have to believe that we can get some points on the board and complete the season strongly. That way it will give some good momentum to start afresh in 2015 with a whole new exciting package.
“It would be difficult to give a clear aim other than improvement and fighting for points every race. We have seen flashes of big promise from the E22. If everything is running right and the team continues to push then we can get more points for sure. As a team we will stay together with a clear mission to achieve the maximum. That way we will come back stronger and become a force in 2015. But first we are hungrier than ever to get back in to the mix for points again in 2014.”