Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado combined for a double points score in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The duo’s points rewarded two well executed strategies, coupled with some excellent overtakes from the Enstone duo to complete a pair of strong recovery drives.
Romain started the running on the more conventional tactic of soft compounds for the opening stint, while Pastor was the only driver outside the top ten on the mediums.
“We used a different strategy to most by running with the slower but more durable tyre for the first stint, when it was difficult to make progress against those on the softs,” said Pastor. “That meant when we changed to the softs we could push harder in the middle stint and make some good places.”
The strategy calls meant Romain was immediately into the battle for points, and he swiftly made up places on the opening few laps after starting in fourteenth ahead of his team-mate.
The opening stint featured the beginning of a long battle as Romain closed in on the chasing pack just outside the top ten as he tailed Max Verstappen.
Soon the short run on the softs came to an end for most on the grid, and an attempt to undercut the Toro Rosso man brought the Frenchman ever closer to the points positions.
Pastor was also starting to target the a scoring return and ran well inside the top ten, thanks to expert tyre management that allowed the Venezuelan to extend his stint over 26 laps.
He would soon trade some black and golf paint with the blue of Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber, as up ahead Romain took opportunity of the battling cars ahead to take Sergio Perez’s place for tenth.
As the race settled, Pastor would serve a five second stop go penalty for his closeness to Ericsson’s wheel, but soon returned to the top ten ahead of Romain.
With few laps remaining, Romain jumped ahead of his team-mate for ninth, before Pastor was narrowly edged out of tenth place. A post-race exclusion then promoted Pastor into tenth to complete the double haul.
“It was a fun race, and I enjoyed going through the field with some nice overtaking manoeuvres with our aggressive race strategy,” said Romain. “It was quite hard to follow the cars but we had good power to overtake into turn 1. It has been an emotional weekend so it is good to be back in the points.”
Pastor also enjoyed a close fought race, adding: “It was a very active race with lots going on. Then at the end we were defending with harder tyres from those with softer and fresher ones so it was difficult to keep P10, but from where we started it was a good race.”
The Frenchman now only has one race of his Enstone career left, and wants to end it on a high next time out.
“The next race will be my last one with the team and taking the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi will be very special but I will give my best to bring a good result.”
Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi reflected on a bittersweet race, and praised the team’s hard work.
"A great job from Romain, and also from all of the race team here, to work so well at what is nearly the end of a very long season,” he said. Thanks too to everyone at Enstone for all their efforts.”