Lotus pleased with “big step forwards”

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Sepang International Circuit, 2014Lotus hailed the progress they have made with their car after reaching the chequered flag for the first time this season in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Romain Grosjean finished 11th, holding off Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari which had been delayed earlier in the race.

“Today was a big step forwards from Melbourne, and every time we run the car we can see we are making progress,” said trackside operations director Alan Permane.

“Romain had a decent race, getting the car to the finish and giving us plenty of valuable data and feedback to enable us to deliver improved performance.

“He suffered from some damage to his diffuser on lap 48 and subsequently was losing around a second and a half in terms of performance per lap. This considered, he did a very good job indeed to stay in front of Kimi.”

Grosjean said he felt a “big loss of downforce around eight laps to the end” when the diffuser failed, but was pleased to keep his old team mate behind.

“Without that issue, I’m sure we could have finished higher. It’s good to be back and close to the points so it’s a positive for all of us.

“It was a good battle at the end. I kept remembering our past battles to make sure Kimi couldn’t go through.”

Pastor Maldonado’s car was retired to prevent damage to his engine, according to Permane:

“Pastor had a problem with the intake to the turbo, which was evident from the start of his race. Unfortunately, as well as limiting performance it was potentially damaging to the engine so we had to make the difficult decision to retire him.”

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

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11 comments on Lotus pleased with “big step forwards”

  1. Sam (@) said on 30th March 2014, 12:34

    So they are ahead of Marussia, Sauber and Caterham. (Long) Way to go.

  2. Dion (@infinitygc) said on 30th March 2014, 12:39

    Lotus seem to have gone from dark horse to dark mule.

    I really want them to get over their mistakes, because I want to see how Maldonado and Grosjean compare in a reasonably quick car, and I just want them to do well. The fact that I was cheering a WCC winning team to get into Q2 and finish 11th is a bit disheartening, but the fact that they’ve finished the race and that they’re significantly progressing is a good sign.

    Let’s just hope what they do will be enough…

    • Boomerang said on 30th March 2014, 18:01

      “get over their mistakes” – power train sucks and you say ‘their mistakes’… Verry observing indeed!

      • Dion (@infinitygc) said on 30th March 2014, 18:50

        Well, I’m sorry buddy, but while Lotus’ issues are PU-related, they’re still their problems, seeing how the other teams have at least got to grips with the issues and can run reliably.

        Also, Grosjean was complaining about the diffuser not working in practice, and it simply broke during the race, a problem which is clearly theirs.

        I’m not saying that all their problems are theirs to fix. Surely a lot of problems are still on Renault’s side, seeing how they had a 20-30 kph deficit to the quickest cars on a top speed basis. Also, they still can’t run the engine at full power and have had lots of reliability problems.

        However, there still are a lot of problems which definitely are theirs, or at least partially theirs to fix. For instance the fact that the car still handles like a greased up locomotive or the fact that parts just randomly fall off at points. They could also make the car accommodate the engine better, helping their reliability.

        I’m not saying Lotus are hopeless, their car certainly seems to have a lot of promise and they’re progressing really quickly (This situation is probably very similar to what Red Bull have had between the last Bahrain test and Melbourne), but they do need to get over some issues which are still clearly theirs to fix, mainly because they missed the first test and didn’t get to grips with the engine there but had to wait till Bahrain.

        I want Lotus to perform well, along with its drivers. I might even call myself a fan. But I can’t say that all their problems lie with Renault, because that’s simply not true.

  3. juan fanger (@juan-fanger) said on 30th March 2014, 12:43

    Considering how much actual running they have done, I nearly believe that they have a very good car. Red Bull had done far more than this when they were 4 or 5 seconds off the pace in Bahrain testing. I hope they can improve just as much.
    I also hope that Maldonado gets to finish soon.

  4. ElBasque (@elbasque) said on 30th March 2014, 13:03

    Maldonado’s paranoia has taken over. After Williams “sabotaged his car” last year, he’s now doing it to himself to prevent Lotus from doing the same.

  5. BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th March 2014, 13:10

    Good job today by Grosjean, and I guess we could say Maldonado at least got hit by someone else instead of being to blame. And the car was working. So all in all a big leap for the team.

    • McKenzie (@mckenzie) said on 30th March 2014, 15:42

      I was cheering Romain on as he held Kimi at bay. Romain may have put extra effort into it because he wanted to prove a point. That’s just speculation, of course…

      I heard Maldonado being interviewed about the incident that put him out of the race. Pastor was not accusatory about it. Good for him.

  6. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 30th March 2014, 13:20

    To be fair Lotus need to keep making big steps forward. It was a good drive by Grosjean today, he battled along and managed a semi-decent result given the issues he had in the dying stages of the race.

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