Romain Grosjean celebrated his 50th Grand Prix start by scoring the first points of the season for Lotus F1 Team thanks to an eighth place finish despite racing with a power unit issue for much of the Spanish Grand Prix. Pastor Maldonado finished fifteenth, making seven places during the course of the 66 laps from his back of the grid start.
Maldonado however did get a 5 second stop and go penalty during the race for causing a collision on lap 1 with Marcus Ericsson. He was later also penalised with a point on his superlicense, adding to the three he already recorded so far this season.
Romain Grosjean, P8, E22-03: “It’s been a tough battle for us to get points this season and that was certainly one of the hardest races I’ve contested in a long time. I did everything I could to drive around the power unit issues, which really made things difficult when battling the other cars. It’s good for all the crew at the track and at Enstone to finally get a reward for all their hard work. There are still a lot of areas where we can improve and certainly the car wasn’t as quick today as it was yesterday, with the different track conditions as well as the other issue. It’s Mothers’ Day in Switzerland so this one’s for my mum!"
Pastor Maldonado, P15, E22-01: “We made a step forward in terms of pace with the car this weekend, it was much more competitive than 15th but the lack of top speed meant we weren’t able to attack even if we had a quicker car than others around us. We need to keep working on that and to be faster on the straights. Today’s result is a bit disappointing but my race had been already compromised by starting at the back the grid. At least we saw the chequered flag and collected more data for the team to keep on developing the car."
Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal: "We are very pleased for the team and for Romain to have scored our first points today. It’s certainly been a long road to get to this place. It’s not all a sweet taste as we were expecting to have finished further up the grid. We had some issues with the power unit again so we need to keep working with Renault Sport F1 to ensure we can keep fighting for as many points as possible. We have two days of testing coming up and our target is to carry on making improvements in performance and reliability.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: "We’re obviously very happy to score our first points of the season and we were enjoying a very good first stint in front of both Ferraris but unfortunately Romain’s power unit developed a problem which cost him a step in power for the rest of the race. Given the circumstances, Romain did an incredible job, battling right to the chequered flag. We always knew Pastor would have a difficult race from the back of the grid but he did everything he could to make seven places to finish in fifteenth. We have plenty more in terms of development for the car which we hope to harness with improved reliability.”
Simon Rebreyend, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: “It is very positive to score the first points of the season. It shows the rapid progress we have made as a team. Unfortunately Romain was not able to hold off the Ferraris as a calibration issue caused a loss of power from the first part of the race – we need to look at what we can do to correct this in future races. Pastor’s race was always going to be hard but we made the best of a bad situation and at least we showed both cars have the pace to be in the top ten.”