Eight Line Poem
Eight proved to be the magic number for the team in qualifying today for the Chinese Grand Prix, with Romain Grosjean making it through to Q3 to take eighth place with a lap of 1:37.905secs. Team-mate Pastor put a lap together good enough for P11 despite having to deal with oversteer as he was fighting to break into the top ten.
“I expect to fight in Q3 but it’s been harder for me so far this weekend than it has in the previous two races,” explained Maldonado. “For whatever reason we’ve struggled through the weekend to find the right balance from the car which means I can’t be fully confident to push on this type of track.”
Romain fared better, and enjoyed extracting everything he could out of the car to secure his top-ten finish: “It was a very tight qualifying session which made it very exciting in the car and I’m sure exciting to watch too,” said the Frenchman. “We made some good changes from yesterday which gave me a nice balance and I think that was about the best possible from the car at the moment. It’s going to be a long race and I think the key will be to take care of your front left tyres. I’m enjoying driving the E23 and I think we’ve found a strong baseline set-up which is important for me.”
Tyre management will be key for tomorrow’s race, likely to be dry with mild temperatures, with cars throughout the field expected to make two or three pitstops. With regular appearances within the top ten for both drivers, Romain and Pastor are now focused on opening the team’s points-scoring account for the year:
“We’ve achieved so much in terms of the work that has been carried out since last season, I’m hoping that tomorrow is the day we start reaping what we sowed,” said Romain.
Pastor equalled the sentiment, stating: “I’m looking forward to tomorrow as we’re stronger on race pace so will be much more competitive hunting down those points we want.