The Lotus F1 team endured a disappointing weekend on a track they admitted would not suit their car. After both qualifying in the middle of the pack, Romain Grosjean would ultimately score four world championship points by being classified eighth, but Pastor Maldonado would not start the race due to a mechanical issue on the warm up lap.
Grosjean started mid-pack in 14th place but was soon in the pits with a puncture after the Sauber of Adrian Sutil collided with the Frenchman. He performed well throughout the remainder of the race, and finished ninth on the road that became eighth after the Marussia of Jules Bianchi was given a five second penalty ahead of him.
“It’s good to finish the race here for the first time in my career and it’s good to get some points too,” said Grosjean. “It started as a pretty bad Sunday for us with a puncture for me on the first lap after Adrian drove into me. We swapped to the soft tyres but it was impossible to overtake on these so we came back in for the supersofts.
“The safety car timing didn’t help us as we’d just gone out on the new tyres, but that’s Monaco. You can have thousands of misfortunes in the race, but still be in the points at the end!”
Unfortunately for team-mate Maldonado, his race was over before it even begun, as his Lotus E22 experienced a fuel supply issue. The Venezuelan was unable to take up his grid slot and was left to watch the race from the pit lane.
“We don’t know yet precisely what happened,” said Maldonado. “The engine switched off after 30 seconds. When we did out laps to the grid the car and the power unit were working well. We need to work to find out what the problem was.
“It is disappointing and I was expecting a solid race, we had a good strategy in place, I love this circuit where I have been competitive in the past. We have already worked hard on performance and reliability but today it was not to be. This afternoon we’re not happy but we are keeping focused on improving.”
Deputy Team Principal, Federico Gastaldi was frustrated that Maldonado could not start and that Grosjean was out of position because of the puncture and the team were lucky to score points on a circuit that does not play into the strengths of the Lotus car.
“We scored some lucky points today but our overall weekend has been disappointing,” admitted Gastaldi. “It’s been very frustrating that Pastor couldn’t start the race and we have to identify the cause of this. Romain stayed focused and did a very good job to score the team some valuable points. We know that we still have work to do and Monaco certainly hasn’t played to our strengths.”