Lotus hope for warmer weather after qualifying struggle

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The Autodromo di Monza proved to be a cruel mistress to the fortunes of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado in qualifying for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix. Pastor set the seventeenth and Romain the eighteenth fastest time.

Romain’s shot at qualifying was curtailed to one run after a coolant leak on his car. Both cars will benefit from one grid position for the race due to a penalty for Danil Kvyat.

Romain Grosjean, E22-03, 18th: “It wasn’t a perfect day today. We always knew that the track layout would not suit us that well plus we had issues this morning with the intercooler and we changed it during the lunchtime break. It took some time to finish the work and so we started our qualifying session a bit late after a coolant leak. We knew that the results would be tough but I was really proud and happy to see that every single mechanic came over to help get my car ready after Pastor’s car left the garage. This was a testament to the very strong team spirit from Enstone, even when the chips are against us. Tomorrow, as always, we will do our best in the race to battle hard to make up places.”

Pastor Maldonado, E22-04, 17th: “We knew that qualifying was going to be challenging for us especially with our lack of straight line speed. Tomorrow is race day and things could be better. We chose a tiny rear wing for Monza and normally there should be an improvement for the race itself on pace; equally we have good control on tyre degradation. Hopefully we will be able to fight for better positions on Sunday.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “We knew it would be tough here and so it proved to be. We faced a race against time to get Romain’s car out for the session after a coolant leak and the crew did a great job to ensure he got out for a run. Unfortunately on track we simply had a lack of pace which is reflected by our qualifying position.

“Both tyre compounds are durable and there is not a massive difference on pace between them so we aren’t expecting a multi-stop race. That said, our car could be better than some at staying in the performance window of the tyres for longer than some others. The weather was much warmer at the track today and this could well continue tomorrow which would further enhance our tyre performance potential.”