Lotus Drivers Back in the Pack for Monaco GP Start

The Lotus F1 team endured a torrid Monaco Grand Prix qualifying session that saw both drivers eliminated at the second stage. Romain Grosjean will start from 14th on the grid, while team-mate Pastor Maldonado will start one place behind him in 15th. The two drivers struggled for pace around the twisty Monte Carlo circuit.

Grosjean ended up 14th and missed out on a third consecutive appearance in the third part of qualifying by four tenths of a second. The Frenchman knew it was going to be difficult in Monaco, but he feels there is a lot of pace to come out of the E22 chassis.

“Unfortunately we were not fast enough,” admitted Grosjean. “We were hoping that the warmer conditions might help a little bit today but it wasn’t to be. It was a difficult qualifying session despite the car balance being okay but I think that the car is struggling a bit in slow corners, which is something that we were concerned might be the case. We will have to work on this to make it better as the E22’s much better in the high-speed areas. It is very difficult to predict what will happen in races here, but we will always fight to the end.”

Team-mate Maldonado made it through to the second part of qualifying for the first time in 2014, but like Grosjean struggled for pace around the slow corners of Monaco. The Venezuelan admitted he expected more after the positive post-Spain test at Barcelona.

“After the positive test we had in Barcelona we were hoping for a better result today,” felt Maldonado. “However this track hasn’t suited us so far this weekend. We struggled to get sufficient temperature in the tyres, which seem to be a very hard compound for Monaco. I also suffered a lot from the traffic, which didn’t help with tyre temperature or getting a fast lap.

“It’s a long race tomorrow so we’ll try to be clean in the first couple of laps, try to have a good strategy and we will see what we can do and deliver as best we can.”