The Lotus F1 team finally found justification for their unwavering optimism in the Grand Prix of China. After struggling through the first few races of the 2015 season, Lotus earned their first points of the season with a seventh place finish from driver Romain Grosjean.
Chinese Grand Prix 2015 Lotus Review
The E23 has shown itself to be infinitely more promising than its predecessor. The car has consistently performed well in both practice and qualifying. Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado have expressed their level of comfort and confidence in this car and, despite irritating issues that have arisen during the actual race itself, have showed they are capable of mixing it up with the faster, bigger teams.
Qualifying was a perfect example of this as both drivers were fast. Grosjean managed to capture eighth place on the starting grid, setting himself up for a solid start to the race. Maldonado struggled more saying, “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.” Despite a difficult qualifying for Maldonado, the team remained optimistic, hopeful that this race would be the one in which they garner some points.
The start of the race was breathtaking as Grosjean immediately launched himself into a battle with Felipe Nasr, shortly overtaking him for seventh place. Maldonado also found himself engaged in game of strategy with the Saubers, his E23 performing solidly as it made quick work of the competition and moved into eighth place.
On lap 33, Maldonado experienced a braking issue that sent him flying past the pit lane, costing him a plethora of time. To add insult to injury in the time wasted department Maldonado spun while trying to overtake the McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Jensen Button. The damage that resulted from the spin, when coupled with the braking issue the team faced, forced them to retire Maldonado early. Grosjean, however, solidered on and brought his car home safely in eighth place, earning the team their first points of the season.
Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi was tremendously pleased by the points the team earned through Grosjean saying, “The team is buoyed by Romain’s result and we’re looking forward to increasing our tally in Bahrain.” The E23 had proved it was capable of being the car the team believed it to be. Grosjean and Maldonado, despite the challenges faced by Maldonado’s teams, had proven they were ready to race. The team proved itself ready, willing, and able to build cars that would successfully propel Lotus into the future.