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Australian GP: Race notes - Lotus

NEWS STORY
16/03/2014

Romain Grosjean finished sixteenth and Pastor Maldonado seventeenth after the season-opening Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park. Romain started from the pit lane and completed a pit stop before an MGU-K problem stopped his run. Pastor started from back of the grid and also completed a pit stop before his run was cut short, also with an MGU-K issue.

Romain started from the pit lane on new soft tyres, changing to new soft tyres on lap 28. He completed a pit lane drive-through on lap 1 and exited the race on lap 44. Pastor started with new soft tyres, changing to new soft tyres on lap 29. He exited the race on lap 29.

Romain Grosjean: "In a way, it was a pretty positive day. I expected to do around 15 to 20 laps in the race after all the issues we've had this weekend, and we managed 45! We've learnt a lot today and all the changes made to the car have been positive. We still have a long way to go, but at least I know more about tyre usage, all my engineers know where we need to improve with the chassis, and we've learnt a lot about aero balance and fuel consumption. Of course there's more to do with the energy management and recovery and some work yet with the braking. We've still got lots of work to do, but we're definitely heading in the right direction."

Pastor Maldonado: "It was obviously very disappointing, but if you look at the positives we did more laps than in the pre-season which is quite encouraging as we have more data which is very important for making progress. We had a very negative free practice but we did plenty of laps during the race which is very positive for the team. I'm looking forward to the next race and we'll keep pushing."

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal: "Though the results do not show it, everyone in the team has done a fantastic job in very challenging circumstances. Both our cars finished with problems related to the same MGU-K component so we and Renault F1 Sport both know where we have to focus for our improvements heading to Malaysia. It's clear we also have other improvements to make, but the team spirit and resolve has not diminished. We know what we have to do and we will do it."

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: "In simple terms, we've finished a disappointing weekend with a disappointing race, with neither car finishing. However the 45 laps completed by Romain's car is the longest run completed by the E22 and while we accept we're way behind, we're working hard to catch up. It's not the way we want to go racing. We need to make a big leap forward in Malaysia and we're working every hour to ensure we make this leap. I'm very sure and very confident that we'll see a big improvement in two weeks' time."

Julien Barbieux, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader: "After such a difficult built up to the race it was some sort of plus to get two cars to just under half distance, but shows we are still not at the level we want. We have struggled all weekend to find the right balance between reliability and performance, but we seemed to turn a corner today and Pastor and Romain were both on the pace of the top 10. Unfortunately both drivers suffered from a malfunctioning MGU-K and were forced to retire. We've learnt a huge amount from the running as it was the first time we have completed a longer run on both cars. We have improved operationally and there will be a huge combined effort from Viry and Enstone to improve on this performance in Malaysia and get closer to the full potential of the car."

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