Race pace unrewarded in Abu Dhabi
Pastor’s E22 catching fire saw a chance of a good end to the 2014 Formula 1 season go up in flames as the Venezuelan took a DNF, while Romain overcame his penalties to impress on his way to thirteenth at the flag in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Despite the E22’s difficulties at the Yas Marina Circuit this week, the team discovered pace at the right time, as Pastor’s early pit stop on the seventh lap was the spark that saw him climb up the order.
He soon found himself running just outside the top ten after the twenty lap mark, dicing with the likes of the Ferrari duo, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen.
However, Pastor’s pace would soon come to an abrupt end. On the twenty sixth lap, the Venezulelan’s car saw smoke billowing and added flames before he sensibly pulled over, extinguishing hopes of a good finish.
“That was a surprising race for me,” he said. Our race pace was actually pretty good and I was able to fight with the Ferraris as well as enjoy the feel from the car. I was able to push and the car worked well on both tyre compounds. Unfortunately, my race had to end early. The flames showed the engine wasn’t working too well which also mean it was getting quite hot in the car!”
It wasn’t just the one E22 that had improved, Romain’s patient approach saw the Frenchman make his way up the grid despite the huge disadvantage his grid and drive through penalty gave him.
It took less than ten laps for the Frenchman to begin his surge up the order however and he then settled into seventeenth for his pitstop.
On his return to the track, his new soft compound tyres aided him on the attack, as he pushed his way into the top fifteen.
If you had told Romain he would end the race overtaking a Mercedes, he would have rightly laughed, but that’s exactly what he did in the dying embers of the race, moving past Nico Rosberg to take thirteenth at the flag.
“We did the best we could today,” reflected the driver. “My race wasn’t that eventful and unfortunately it came to an early end for Pastor, so I think that we are all glad that the season is now over. I’m already looking forward to being in the simulator to test the E23. We obviously have a new Power Unit and aerodynamically next year’s car is looking like a great step forward. Now it’s time to take a break, recharge our batteries and look forward to 2015.”
Romain isn’t the only one looking to put 2014 behind him, as Deputy Team Prinicpal Federico Gastaldi sees a team determined to bounce back.
"2014 won’t go down as a memorable season in terms of results for Enstone, but it will be a year we remember for really testing our resolve and strengthening our character,” he said. “Everyone at the track and at Enstone has fought all the way, despite the lack of results. We are determined to come back stronger in 2015 and everything is in place to enable this.”