Romain Grosjean managed to make it through to the final part of qualifying for the fourth time in four races in Bahrain, and the Lotus F1 Team driver will start from tenth on the grid. A problem with team-mate Pastor Maldonado’s car however meant the Venezuelan could only secure sixteenth on the grid.
Despite disappointing practice sessions, Grosjean was able to find the pace when it mattered, and was able to qualify inside the top ten, albeit in tenth position. He was just 0.034s away from eighth, and felt he could have been there had he had slightly more grip, but is hopeful of a strong result on Sunday.
“I’m really proud of the team and what they achieved between FP3 and qualifying today,” said Grosjean. “From our runs so far this weekend, I was expecting to go out earlier so to achieve Q3 for the fourth time in a row feels very good.
“I’m actually slightly disappointed, I think we could have placed higher but we were lacking a little bit of grip.
“Tomorrow is all about the rear tyres – as opposed to China, where it was all about the fronts. We’ll be careful, prepare a car that’s well balanced and then we’ll see what it brings.”
Maldonado had shown good pace throughout practice but suffered with an under-powered engine during qualifying that cost him the opportunity to get out of the first part of the session, ultimately qualifying sixteenth. The Venezuelan feels he will be able to make up places on Sunday, with points certainly the target.
“We had a problem unfortunately and weren’t able to get the maximum pace from the car, meaning that it felt like we were lacking in power,” revealed Maldonado.
“It’s not the end of the world as we should be able to fix the problem so we can focus on recovering positions through the race. We have enough tyres to do a different strategy and have showed good potential on both long and short runs throughout the weekend.
“The pace is there and points are definitely possible so let’s do our best as always.”