And a mixed-weather afternoon
It was a rather eventful qualifying session for Lotus F1 Team with Romain Grosjean setting the eighth fastest time and Pastor Maldonado the twelfth in a mixed-weather afternoon at Sepang.
Both car progressed through a dry Q1 and were quickly readied for the dry start to Q2, with Romain getting in a clean lap before the rain started and Pastor falling just short of the time required to enter the top ten session.
“The performance was there today and we could have made it to Q3 had it not been for the weather changing,” explained Pastor.
“We got to the track a little bit late on my last run and that penalised us, but we showed we had good pace in Q1. I felt like we had already made a step forward. Overall the car was quick and consistent so hopefully we can recover some places tomorrow. We’re targeting points.”
Romain meanwhile was able to post a P8 time once the rain had abated and Q3 was able to commence. This left him happy.
“We had never driven with wets on the car before so it was a bit of a discovery mission but everything was good,” he said.
“It wasn’t an easy qualy, but the team made the right calls. It was a safe choice to go out on extremes wets first. We then went onto inters but the timing didn’t allow us to finish our lap so we had to pit. We only did one timed lap in those conditions but we made it and I think we got the best we could.
A post-qualifying penalty for leaving the pitlane not in the in the order he entered (a scurrilous crime) was subsequently bestowed upon Romain, meaning a P10 start tomorrow.
“The race is going to be interesting; we have quite a mix of cars around us but it’s a long race, it’s a hot race and even without rain, it’s quite a demanding race on the cars and on drivers. It’ll definitely be interesting,” Romain reckoned.