As the Lotus F1 team arrived in Australia they brought with them a tangible sense of optimism. Their 2015 car, the E23, not only has a reconfigured chassi but also a new power source-the formidable Mercedes engine. Both drivers, Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, had shown the car was competitive during testing and the eagerness to go racing was evident from the first moment the E23 rolled onto the track.
2015 Australian Grand Prix Lotus Review: Short and Not So Sweet
Qualifying revealed the teams optimism to be well founded as Pastor Maldonado qualified a strong eighth and Romain Grosjean ninth, a feat after missing most of the first qualifying session. The team focused on aerodynamic set ups, floor design, and tyre wear during qualifying and practice and worked on finding the best settings for optimum speed. While Grosjean experienced problems in the first session, it was Maldonado who struggled in the second, yet the team remained hopeful for a successful start to the 2015 season.
When it was time to roll the cars out onto the grid Sunday morning, Lotus was ready to go. They had excellent position, solid cars, and more than capable drivers. The dawn of the Australian Grand Prix, and the 2015 season, looked infinitely promising. The feeling was short lived, however, as Grosjean experienced a loss of power on the formation lap and while he started the race, was soon forced to retired just a few laps in. Maldonado’s luck was not much better as he, while experiencing a brilliant splash of speed that propelled him up the grid, found himself entangled in an accident when another driver was caught in the grass.
The Australian Grand Prix, while not yielding the result the Lotus team had hoped, did contain more than a glimmer of hope. The cars were fast, competitive, and solid overall, in a race where attrition was atrocious. Lotus, while not finishing the race where they would have hoped, do still have hope that the 2015 Formula 1 season will be a better, more successful, and infinitely more prosperous season.