A solid finish for Pastor, early bath for Romain
Romain Grosjean looked to be making good progress from his first top ten races start of the season in the Chinese Grand Prix today before a gearbox problem meant an early exit from tenth position on track.
Romain had been dicing with former team-mate Kimi Rãikkönen for ninth place before losing first fourth and then further gears meaning he had to retire from the team’s strongest showing of the season.
“We started by losing fourth gear but it got worse and essentially we lost all gears,” explained Romain. “It’s the first time we’ve had a problem like this so we’ll have to understand what happened. It had been quite nice in the race as we’d been fighting for ninth position so we were in the points, which is a good improvement from before.”
Pastor Maldonado meanwhile was able to make steady progress through the field after his back of the grid start, brought about by missing Saturday’s qualifying session. From P22 he made a strong start to pass four cars, then steadily moved forwards to record his second fourteenth-placed finish of the season.
“Today wasn’t my best race ever but we finished,” said Pastor.
“My pace wasn’t fantastic but at least we moved forwards and I pushed as hard as I could. We will look at the data as we seemed to lack pace on the straights which made it difficult to overtake and also difficult to defend. It will be nice to have a race weekend without any problems, and that’s what we are all working for when we head to Europe."
With further data from Pastor’s race duration the team will be focusing on extracting more speed from the E22 before the first European race of the season, the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona on May 11.
“For Barcelona we have more upgrades for the chassis and engine so we should be more competitive there,” predicts Trackside Operations Director, Alan Permane.