Excessive tyre wear compromises Lotus duo in Brazil

The Lotus F1 Team saw Pastor Maldonado have a much better race at Interlagos than qualifying, finishing in twelfth position, but team-mate Romain Grosjean was forced into retirement with a power unit issue.

Maldonado made a very early stop, meaning his planned two-stop strategy was never going to work, but was disappointed to have missed out on scoring points in twelfth, not too far away from tenth placed Valtteri Bottas of Williams Martini Racing.

“It was a tough race,” reflected Maldonado. “We had to switch from a two-stop to a three-stop strategy due to high tyre wear which meant our race was compromised. My start wasn’t great but we managed to be a lot more competitive towards the end of the race and were aiming for points.

“I tried my best and was hoping to overtake Valtteri Bottas but it wasn’t possible in the end. We’ll be pushing hard in Abu Dhabi, that’s for sure.”

Grosjean had the longest first stint of anybody, and was hoping to make the race into a two-stop strategy but with higher-than-expected degradation he was forced to revert to a three-stop strategy, but ultimately he ended his race early after a power unit failure.

“The start of the race was good and we were able to run high up in the field quite quickly,” said Grosjean. “We had to switch from a two-stop to a three-stop strategy half way through the race however and that came with some challenges.

“A lot of work was done to improve the car’s performance this weekend so it’s hard not to be able to finish. We’ll be looking into what happened and make sure we’re ready to make the most of the double points on offer for the next race.”