The Lotus F1 Team continue to struggle for pace in 2014, and their Singapore weekend’s workload has not been helped by Pastor Maldonado’s heavy crash in the second session on Friday that means a chassis change for the Venezuelan driver. Romain Grosjean was happier than he has been in recent races after finding himself twelfth fastest at Marina Bay.
Grosjean was down in eighteenth in free practice one, but improved to twelfth in the second session, and felt positive about some of the upgrades attached to the car that are aimed for the 2015 Lotus.
“The car performed well today, better than previous races which is something we expected to happen, but nevertheless is good when it goes the way that has been predicted,” said Grosjean. “With more downforce on the wings the car works better. We also had a few new parts to try on the car – some worked really well and some provided us with a good idea of the direction to go for next year’s car.”
Team-mate Maldonado finished fourteenth fastest in FP1, a position he matched in FP2, although his second session ended with the Venezuelan crashing into the turn ten wall after losing control of his car. The crash means the team will be working to get a new chassis ready for Saturday’s running, with the first too badly damaged to continue on with.
“For one lap on the softer tyres the car feels quite good,” said Maldonado. “We’ve made a bit of a step forward here in terms of our relative pace and we’re much closer to the times in the top ten. We hope to be slightly more competitive for the race.
“The balance was quite snappy when the tyres were a bit older and I lost it in the middle of the corner, then the exit is quite narrow there which meant nowhere to go so that was the end of my session.”