Romain Grosjean: “We can be happy with where we are”

Both Lotus F1 Team drivers were somewhat happy with their qualifying sessions at the Circuit de Catalunya despite both ending the day outside the top ten. Romain Grosjean saw his 100% record of making it through into Q3 ended when he qualified eleventh, while Pastor Maldonado will start twelfth on Sunday.

Grosjean was relatively happy to qualify in eleventh, admitting he was not even expecting to make it into Q2 following a tricky weekend with the handling of his Lotus, and feels he can secure points for a third consecutive race weekend on Sunday.

“We can be happy with where we are following qualifying,” insisted Grosjean. “After this morning we didn’t think that we’d make it into Q2 but we made good progress since FP3.

“P11 is quite a good position to be in, on a clean side of the grid and we’ll have plenty of new tyres for tomorrow’s race. Of course I’m a racer and I always want more, which sometimes can cost me a little bit but it’s been good to be able to fight this afternoon after a complicated start to the weekend.

“We are hoping for points tomorrow like we scored at the last two races. There could be some nice overtaking manoeuvres opportunities on Sunday even though it can be tricky here in Barcelona.”

Team-mate Maldonado was only 0.075s adrift in twelfth, and felt it was a good result for him after struggling throughout the weekend so far. He is eager to make up places on Sunday to secure his first points of the year following a disappointing opening four Grand Prix of 2015.

“Qualifying was actually not too bad when you consider where we were yesterday and this morning as we’ve been working very hard to find some balance with the car,” revealed Maldonado.

We ran a different strategy for qualifying as we saw that the single lap pace potential wasn’t all there, so we’ve looked to the race and our strategy there to make up positions, especially with an extra set of new tyres relative to our rivals.”