It was a case of being in the right place at the right time for the Lotus F1 Team duo during qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Romain Grosjean being the lucky one to make it through the final part of qualifying whereas Pastor Maldonado was out of position when it mattered most.
Grosjean made it through to the final part of qualifying in Sepang, and ultimately qualified eighth, but a two-place penalty will see him start tenth on Sunday. The Frenchman was found guilty of jumping the queue in the pit lane ahead of the all-important second session, with everyone eager to get track position as the rain began to fall.
“We had never driven with wets on the car before so it was a bit of a discovery mission but everything was good,” said Grosjean. “It wasn’t an easy qualy, but the team made the right calls. It was a safe choice to go out on extremes wets first.
“We then went onto inters but the timing didn’t allow us to finish our lap so we had to pit. We only did one timed lap in those conditions but we made it and I think we got the best we could.
“The race is going to be interesting; we have quite a mix of cars around us but it’s a long race, it’s a hot race and even without rain, it’s quite a demanding race on the cars and on drivers. It’ll definitely be interesting!”
Team-mate Maldonado was unable to beat the weather, and ended up down in twelfth position, but is hopeful of a better race to be able to score the team’s first points of 2015 on Sunday.
“The performance was there today and we could have made it to Q3 had it not been for the weather changing,” insisted Maldonado. “We got to the track a little bit late on my last run and that penalised us, but we showed we had good pace in Q1.
“I felt like we had already made a step forward. Overall the car was quick and consistent so hopefully we can recover some places tomorrow. We’re targeting points.”