Slippery When Wet
If you didn’t watch the Hungarian Grand Prix, make sure you do. A highly eventful mixed weather race saw a flurry of activity both on track and in the pits with Pastor Maldonado leading the Lotus F1 Team effort with a hard-fought thirteenth position come the chequered flag.
After a heavy shower soaked the track shortly before the race start, all competitors left the grid on Pirelli’s intermediate tyres, with a then rapidly drying track making the game of when to call the change to slicks.
A safety car forced the issue, with all but brace of drivers opting to change to the dry weather tyres. As the cars then circulated behind the safety car, Romain sought to keep his slicks in their temperature operating window, but a weave onto a still wet white line meant a spin into retirement for the team’s French driver.
“The conditions on the circuit this afternoon were very tricky and we couldn’t get the best out of the tyres,” Romain concluded afterwards.
“We made the right call to move to slicks when the safety car came out – like most of the grid did – but I made a mistake when I was trying to keep the tyres warm. Unfortunately, I touched the white line and spun and that was it.
“I feel very sorry for everyone in the team who are giving everything they can to give me the best car possible. We didn’t finish the race today which is very disappointing.”
Now leading the Lotus F1 Team charge, Pastor was also to have a challenging race, with a number of off-track excursions in keeping with most competitors.
“It was a tough race for us,” surmised Pastor. “It was a struggle to find enough grip and the track surface was very slippery.
“We didn’t always have full power, which certainly added to the challenge in what was already a pretty difficult race with the changeable conditions. We weren’t able to close in on the cars ahead along the straight which made it hard to overtake, and there aren’t many places to overtake around here.”
Following the Hungarian Grand Prix, the team returns to Enstone for a week before enjoying two weeks of ‘summer shutdown’ ahead of the next event, the Belgian Grand Prix on August 22-24.