Fighting For Points
Pastor will start the race in thirteenth position for the Austrian Grand Prix, with Romain close behind in fifteenth. We take five with our boys to find out their thoughts ahead of tomorrow's race.
A sunny Red Bull Ring was the setting for today's qualifying in Austria and both Lotus F1 Team drivers succeeded in reaching Q2 in an exciting qualifying session, despite continued struggles for pace on low fuel for the team at the Spielberg circuit. Both cars proceeded through the first qualifying session but were unable to make it into the top ten. Pastor set today’s fourteenth fastest time and Romain the sixteenth, but both gain a position due to a grid penalty applied to Sergio Perez.
Pastor remains optimistic that the car will perform well tomorrow; “I hope to be fighting for the points, and certainly for the top 10. I think that we have a good car, especially in race conditions, but it will also depend on the race start and of course, the strategy, but hopefully it will be good!”
“We aren’t where we want to be but it is not too bad considering where we have come from. Since yesterday we've made a good step forward. We have made various changes to improve the performance of the car, and we also changed the engine for today's qualifying. Yesterday we ran with a new one, which we found to have some issues with, so we decided to go back to the one we had at the previous race."
And does he feel bringing home some valuable points is achievable? "We felt more competitive in today’s sessions in regards to speed. This morning we did a lot of work with set up and balance and that made me more comfortable in the car even though we had expected more and are still suffering from a lack of power. I know that we have potential on long runs so hopefully we will have a good race on Sunday.”
Romain, although disappointed with today's result, explained that it was somewhat to be expected during qualifying at the Austrian track: “Since yesterday we have been between 14th and 15th place. Pastor did a great last lap but we haven’t managed to do better despite the fact that we have improved since yesterday. Yes, we have worked in the right direction so that’s positive, and we will continue that way: to work, understand the car better and unlock all of its potential to make real steps forward.”
He too, remains cautiously optimistic for tomorrow's Grand Prix: “Honestly, anything is possible. To start, we will choose the best strategy possible in terms of tyres and see what we can do to differentiate ourselves from the others. The new tyres are a bit tricky for us to make them work the way we want them to and perhaps this is why we were rather competitive on long runs yesterday as opposed to short runs or single laps. Certainly overtaking will be tricky as our topspeed has not been one of our strengths this year but we’ll look for a good strategy or maybe a shortcut on the track to help us in the race!”