The Lotus F1 Team secured their first points of the season in China last weekend, and both Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado feel the E23 is a strong car that should be challenging for regular points finishes in 2015 as they arrive for this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Grosjean has finished on the podium twice in Bahrain during his Formula 1 career, and even if that is an outside possibility this weekend, he feels he can have another good result this weekend to build on his first points of 2015 last weekend in China.
“It’s a good track and I’m happy to go back there,” insisted Grosjean. “I’m especially looking forward to being able to race in Bahrain at night with a fast and reliable car.
“Two of the three times I’ve raced at the Bahrain International Circuit in Formula 1 I’ve been on the podium. It’s a good record and of course I’ll be pushing as hard as possible for the best result to get more points for myself and the team in 2015.
“On paper it is not the most amazing circuit, but when you drive it’s pretty cool. I like the long straights followed by the hairpins and then the twisty middle section with a lot of G-force which makes it exciting.
“It gives the driver plenty to do behind the wheel and it gives you quite a lot to do in the debrief as well. It’s always rewarding when you balance all the different demands on the car to get the lap as fast as possible.”
Grosjean is eager to push on and ensure Lotus remains competitive this season, and targets remaining the fourth fastest team after Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams.
“We’ve made our first deposit in our points account and I expect this to grow strongly through the season. I’m expecting some more good scoring in Bahrain and regular deposits to be a characteristic through the season.
“We were the fourth fastest car in China so fourth position in the Constructors’ Championship has to be the target. It’s a long season, but we’ll keep pushing. We’re only just coming into our stride with the new Mercedes power unit so there’s a lot of potential ahead. I think we’re a very good investment as a team.”
Team-mate Maldonado is still searching for his first points of the season, and indeed his first finish of the year after retiring in each of the opening three Grand Prix. He feels the Lotus is a strong car, and believes a good result is not too far away for the Venezuelan.
“The target’s the same as ever; to do the best job possible and achieve the strongest result,” said Maldonado. “We know what’s achievable from the car so it’s a case of qualifying well then moving forwards in the race into a solid points scoring finish.
“We’ve had three frustrating races where the car’s had the pace to score yet for whatever reason we haven’t been able to make it to the chequered flag. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t go well in Bahrain so that’s the target.
“Bahrain is a good circuit. I would say it is a ‘complete’ circuit because it has a mix of high, medium and low speed turns, plus good sequences of corners. It’s challenging over a lap and makes for an enjoyable race.”