Q&A with Nick Chester (Lotus) after Spa

"Romain drove incredibly well"

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By Olivier Ferret

28 August 2015 - 16:38
Q&A with Nick Chester (Lotus) (...)

Coming back to Spa, the sessions were somewhat mixed up – did this mean our pace and potential was masked at times?

Possibly, although straight away in FP1 Pastor looked reasonably quick before his shunt – he was around P8 - and Romain was P7 in the second session. We were already looking reasonably fast on the Friday and then on Saturday with more running Romain went quicker still. If anything our pace picked up through the weekend with good qualifying results for both drivers and then very strong pace in the race for Romain.

What went wrong for Pastor in the race?

We are still checking all the parts but he had a big excursion at Eau Rouge and hit some curbs very hard which gave the chassis a 17G impact. That looks to have effectively knocked the power off the car and although he managed to get the power back on, it looks like we might have damaged the clutch control valve. Even though we may have been able to reset it when Pastor came back to the pits, we looked at the extent of the damage and decided to retire the car.

Pastor started the race from P7 and Romain from P9 (who’d qualified in P4) - was there potential for a 3-4 result?

Pastor’s pace was pretty good throughout the weekend, only a little bit off Romain as we saw in qualifying but certainly P4 or P5 were possible.

What went right for Romain?

Pretty much everything! He drove incredibly well. His qualifying lap was brilliant - it was disappointing to get the gearbox penalty which in the end didn’t affect us as he drove such a good race. Romain didn’t have the easiest of weekends as he missed FP1 and then had stoppage time in FP2. Still, he was incredibly positive all weekend; his management of the race was excellent looking after the tyres when he needed to and then pushed when he had to push. Everything was perfect.

Romain was closing in on Sebastian at a rapid rate – would he have likely got past if Sebastian Vettel’s tyres had held on?

He had another two laps left to overtake him before Sebastian’s tyre failed and I think that it would have been possible. He was closing in all the time and he could have had a good shot at passing him.

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