It was a race they believed they could win, but Lotus leave Monaco this evening with just two points and a damaged chassis.
Romain Grosjean, who started from fifth place, crashed out of the today’s grand prix before reaching the first corner, whilst team-mate Kimi Raikkonen struggled for pace most of the afternoon and eventually had to settled for ninth place.
“Ninth was the best we could do today,” said the Finn. “I didn't start in a great position and I had some difficulties during the race so it's not been the easiest weekend, but at least we got a couple of points. It's better than nothing but not exactly what we wanted.
“One race doesn't change the fact that we have been pretty strong everywhere – even here at the beginning of the weekend. This circuit is completely different from any other and I don't think we should worry too much about the fact that it wasn't our best weekend. It is what it is – sometimes it doesn't go the way you expected and now we should look to Canada for a better result.”
Grosjean is also hoping for better luck in Canada: “We struggled to get off the line and it looked like Lewis [Hamilton] in front didn't have the best start either,” said the Frenchman, describing what happened at the start of the race.
“Fernando [Alonso] pulled alongside him so I was then on the outside of both cars, and unfortunately Michael [Schumacher] was on the outside of me as well. There just wasn't enough room and next thing I'm facing all the traffic after just one hundred metres which wasn't a nice feeling.
“It's a disappointing end to the week after some positive early signs, but that's racing and now we look forward to Canada and a chance to bounce back.”
Team principal Eric Boullier summed up what went wrong for the team during today’s race:
“We arrived in Monaco after two consecutive podiums and did not really know what to expect at such a unique circuit,” he began. “Before qualifying it was obvious that the E20 was going to be competitive, but things did not go as planned. Our positions on the grid did not reflect our true pace and that put us on the back foot for the rest of the weekend.
“Unfortunately Romain's race ended prematurely after contact with Michael Schumacher, and like the Stewards I think it was a racing incident. With Kimi, we knew that fighting for a podium was going to be more than difficult. It then became obvious that we were struggling with our tyres when the temperature fell. The grip was just not there and we could only defend our position.
“In the end, the two points we've scored today are disappointing but because the field is so tight we have not lost too much ground on our opponents. We have the same number of points as Ferrari in the constructors' championship, while Kimi is 25 points away from Fernando Alonso who's leading the drivers' classification.
“Anything can still happen and the championship is wide open. We're now looking forward to Montreal, the first low downforce track of the season, where the E20 should be strong. Finally, I wish to congratulate the team for all their hard work this weekend. Our 500th was not one of our best, but I hope the 501st is!”