Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado took one step closer to the end of the 2015 Formula 1 season, as the pair completed the first two practice sessions for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Pastor set the team’s fastest time of the day in the second session on the Yas Marina Circuit, clocking a 1min 43.431secs for tenth, finishing in the top ten of both sessions.
“The team did an amazing job to put it all together,” he said. “We had no problems with the car and it was a good start. We did a lot of tests with brakes and new aerodynamic parts. We’re trying to run everything to get as much data as we can that’ll be useful looking forward to next season. It was a positive day.”
In the first session the Venezuelan was joined by Jolyon Palmer, but the British driver’s running was delayed by a water leak, however quick work from the Enstone crew enabled the British driver to sample several laps in the E23 Hybrid.
“It was good to get even just a handful of laps today and the crew did a great job to get the car fixed,” he said. “When I saw the car stripped down before FP1 I certainly didn’t expect to be lapping before the end of the session.”
The evening session is considered a closer representation of the conditions in qualifying and the race, with both taking place as night begins to fall.
Romain rejoined Pastor on track and while Pastor was able to demonstrate good pace, Romain felt there was plenty more to come from his E23.
“It wasn’t the best day for my side of the garage after Jolyon had a problem and then I had one myself,” he said. “I wasn’t totally happy with the car but we’ll work for a better day tomorrow.”
“I wont have done as many laps as I would have liked before qualifying, but we’ll do our usual work from the data and work to improve.”
While a challenging day on track Romain was treated to a farewell garage display, reminding us of his questionable hair choices and his performances for Enstone.
“I like the garage decorations,” he said. “I clearly had issues with my hair in the past and it’s nice to see surprises like the hashtag on the car and It shows the guys will miss me!”
Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane also paid tribute to the team’s work today.
“We’ve displayed quite reasonable pace here today which is a credit to all of the crew here who have worked in a very tight timeframe,” he said. “Pastor was able to set solid laps straight out of the box and his side of the garage had a solid day.”
“Romain’s car experienced a fuel tank related issue and he wasn’t happy with his car, but there’s nothing we shouldn’t get rectified for tomorrow.”