Romain Grosjean was content with the reliability of his Lotus in today’s qualifying session despite admitting that Q3 was possible had he switched to a fresh set of wet tyres in the latter part of the session.
Lotus, which was Red Bull’s closest competitor in the second half of 2013 season, had a horrible start to their 2014 campaign, with multiple reliability issues curtailing their running in pre-season tests and the season opening Australian Grand Prix.
However, this week’s Malaysia Grand Prix showed that there is light at the end of the tunnel with Grosjean having a trouble-free free practice three and qualifying. The Frenchman acknowledged the progress his team has made in terms of reliability, though lack of performance from E22 still left the 27 year old frustrated.
“As long as you don’t perform, its frustrating. Again as I said, at the moment we don’t have to focus on performance, we’re just trying to test the thing and improve. I think the whole day has been positive day in that we didn’t have have many issues, we tried something in FP3 which didn’t work out, so we came back and went out in the car,” Grosjean told reporters after qualifying.
Grosjean was surprised with how well the car behaved in the wet, but rued about not switching to a fresh set of tyres in the final part of Q2.
“Then we went to qualifying, first time we run the car in the wet, so you never know. Then Q1 was pretty good - I was pretty surprised the car was feeling good, same at the start of Q2. We were P10 or P11 and the grip was there. Then tyres dropped, we didn’t have enough look at this that we had to pit and change tyre, so its easy to say afterwards.
Grosjean admitted that Q3 was possible with a new set of intermediate tyres, but preferred not to say anything against a team whose first priority was to ensure that all the system were working efficiently.
“It would have been on the edge, it was very close or maybe possible but then you would have to change tyres and so on, it always easy to say afterwards. We were trying to get into the state of tyre management he turbo and the car working properly, and all that kind of things,” he added.