After making steady improvements in the build up to the British Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado saw their races end in the third corner of the opening lap.
A pack of cars entered the corner and contact from the Red Bull of Daniel Riccardio forced Romain’s damaged E23 Hybrid into the sister car of Pastor.
“There were a lot of cars into turn three,” said the Frenchman. “Daniel came in hard and hit me, and I collided with the Sauber on the outside, breaking the front wing and it created a puncture. The car went left and I hit Pastor which was a shame.”
Romain then had to retire his E23 from the team’s home race, and turned his thoughts to the team and fans.
“That was a very short race for the team and I feel for everyone here at Silverstone and at Enstone,” he said. “No-one likes to end a Grand Prix like that as so much effort goes into making and preparing the cars.”
While he was out of contention, Pastor continued briefly before he was told to pull over and retire.
“There’s always a battle around tenth place if you’re in the mix, it was a good clean start but everyone is trying to make up places there,” he said. “I was surprised to be hit by Romain but he’s been caught by Ricciardo so it was a very confusing turn of events.”
“At first I thought I had a puncture and would be able to return to the pits and re-join the race but unfortunately the damage to the car was more serious than that and I had to retire.”
Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi described the team’s home event as frustrating after the team worked hard to try and unlock the E23’s potential.
"Motorsport is sometimes a cruel sport and we saw that today,” he said. There was nothing either of our drivers could have done to avoid the first lap incident and that was our race over. It’s been a frustrating home weekend for us.”
“We weren’t able to show the pace we have in the car, we’ve suffered from a few niggles, then it was a very early bath for both our guys.”
Meanwhile, Technical Director Nick Chester was quick to turn attentions to Hungary and hopes to see the team return to regular point scoring form.
“It’s now a rapid return to Enstone to put everything we can into preparing the cars for Hungary and our next opportunity for a points haul."
Romain shared the opinion, and wants to reward the team’s loyal fans in Budapest.
“I know we have many fans who want to see us race so I feel for them,” he said. “Budapest is next, and we’ve gone well there in the past. I’m pumped-up to fight for every single point available.”