Near misses in Austin
Austin saw one of the best qualifying results in 2014 for the team as fresh impetus in a revised format saw Pastor take his season-best result of 11th, while tyre locking meant Romain missed the chance to make it two cars in Q2 and qualified eighteenth.
While it was a case of mixed fortunes between the two E22s, there was an extra boost for the team following Pastor’s promotion to tenth after Jenson Button’s grid penalty.
He could have fought for more in Q3 but a minor error on his fastest lap cost him the time required to make the cut.
“The car feels more solid and together than it has for the last few races which meant I was able to push more than usual,” said the Venezuelan. “We know we work better in the faster corners and I think there is still more pace in the car. On my Q2 lap I made a small mistake in the second to last corner which would have been worth another tenth and then we’d have been in Q3.”
Despite missing out, the pace that saw him run as high as fifth early in the session has the driver confident.
“We’re well placed for tomorrow,” he said. “I think we have a great chance to score and that will be the main focus.”
His narrow miss was an experience shared by Romain in Q1. He set his best first sector in his final lap and looked set to make Q2, before tyre issues late on in the run ended his push up the grid.
It was a gutting result for the Frenchman, who felt the E22 was unable to build on the morning’s progress.
“The car was good this morning, I was enjoying driving it and I even said it was the best car I’ve driven for a while,” he said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t feel the same when I went out for qualifying and it was a real struggle to find any pace. On the plus side, my car worked well this morning, as did Pastor’s in qualifying, so there’s still potential in what will be a long race, with a few pit stops to help shake up the order.”