The Lotus F1 team came into the Grand Prix of Monaco with high hopes. The E23 had been, despite a few glitches, handling much better and starting to fulfill the promise of the speed the team had seen in testing. The twisting and tangled slow curves of the famous track, however, gave the optimistic team a run for their money and at the end of the day there was nothing to do but look forward to the Canadian Grand Prix.
A Run of Bad Luck for Lotus in Monaco
In qualifying, both Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean did well. Maldonado proved again that the E23 was fast and qualified an impressive ninth. Grosjean, who was also quick in practice and qualifying, made a small error that left him in eleventh place on the grid. It was only the second time this season that Grosjean did not make it into the third qualifying session. Both drivers expressed that they were pleased with the car and its performance. Maldonado said that, “the car was getting better throughout the weekend from the free practices through to qualifying.”
Heading into the race, the team was very optimistic. The cars were quick and handling the renowned track with relative ease with the bonus that both drivers had qualified well. As the race started, both Maldonado and Grosjean had a clean start and begin to move through the field. However, by lap six, Maldonado was experiencing problems with his brakes and had to retire due to a suspected hydraulic leak. Grosjean continued to charge on through the field until Max Verstappen over braked in Sainte Devote corner and made contact with Grosjean’s E23. Grosjean, who was understandably not happy about the incident was nonetheless understanding saying, “The move was a bit optimistic, fortunately neither of us were hurt but it cost us a point today. He is learning, of course I have made some mistakes in the past so I can understand.” Grosjean went on with his race and finished a respectable twelfth.
Despite having a run of bad luck, Lotus looks toward Canada with a positive perspective. Team Director Nick Chester said, “Overall the weekend was really promising, the pace of the car was there, we now know the car is good in slow corners and we know we are quick in a straight line. Despite less than positive results here, we could see good pace from the E23, meaning we’re quietly confident heading to the next races.” As the 2015 Formula 1 season progresses, Lotus slowly makes progress, earning points, overcoming challenges, and despite a run of bad luck, confident in a change for the good.