Canadian Grand Prix; That’s More Like it!
Lotus F1 Team enjoyed their season’s best qualifying performance with Romain Grosjean fifth and Pastor Maldonado sixth for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Both drivers carried on with strong weekends so far to set times under a second away from pole position.
Romain Grosjean, E23-04. Q: P5, 1:15.194. FP3: P3, 1:16.772
“It’s great for the team, we’ve been competitive since our first lap here this weekend; staying in the top seven all the time. The car’s been feeling great today; P1 in Q1, P3 in Q2 and finally P5 to start tomorrow. I think everything has been working very well and it’s good that both cars are up there. Tomorrow it’s a tough race, for the brakes definitely, but generally too so we need to care of that but it’s the same for everyone. A podium finish would be fantastic – we can hope – but a top five will be really great. We’ll do our best as always and we’ll see how we get on.”
Pastor Maldonado, E23-03. Q: P6, 1:15.329 FP3: P10, 1:17.573
“That was not too bad! We were expecting this kind of result after yesterday’s practice. The performance of the car here seems to be slightly better than at the other tracks. It may be due to a characteristic of our car for this kind of track with the slow corners and very long, fast straights. It’s positive for the team to have both cars on the third row. It’s a long race, we have good pace but the others are competitive too. Normally, we have better pace in the races than in qualifying which is encouraging. We’ll do our race, push hard as always and hopefully get a good result.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“A decent day and there’s more to come.”
How was qualifying for the team?
Overall we’re very, very happy with where we are on the grid. The E23 is strong on traction and strong on braking which are two crucial areas for a fast lap here. We’ve steadily improved both over the weekend and this coupled to the Mercedes power unit gave our drivers great potential. Both Pastor and Romain perform well on this track and are strong on heavy braking events, so it’s definitely a place that suits our package. We expected to go quite well here, but we look to be a little better than we even dared hope.
What happened when both drivers left for their final qualifying runs at the same time?
There was a small mix-up with our timings meaning that both drivers were told to leave for their final qualifying laps at the same time. Romain was given his instruction a little too soon so left at the same time as Pastor, which wasn’t the plan but it looked far more dramatic than it actually was.
What are the considerations for tomorrow’s race?
We have the podium in our sights. This is, of course what we should be aiming for, and it won’t be an easy task given our opposition, but that’s what we’re gunning for. We’ll see what we can do.