Race - Chinese GP report: Lotus Renault
Pastor Maldonado finished in fourteenth position whilst Romain Grosjean was forced to retire from the Chinese Grand Prix on lap 28 because of a gearbox problem. Romain made the team’s first top ten start of 2014 and was fighting for points before his early exit, whilst Pastor made eight positions during the course of the race after having started from back of the grid due to engine-related issues forcing him to miss Saturday’s qualifying.
— Romain started from tenth position on new soft compound tyres, changing to new medium tyres on lap nine. He retired from the race with 28 laps completed.
— Pastor started from 22nd position on new soft tyres, changing to new mediums on laps 11 and 32.
“We started by losing fourth gear but it got worse and essentially we lost all gears. It’s the first time we’ve had a problem like this so we’ll have to understand what happened. It had been quite nice in the race as we’d been fighting for ninth position so we were in the points, which is a good improvement from before. We didn’t make it to the end of the race today but let’s hope we finish in the points in Barcelona."
“Today wasn’t my best race ever but we finished. My pace wasn’t fantastic but at least we moved forwards and I pushed as hard as I could. We will look at the data as we seemed to lack pace on the straights which made it difficult to overtake and also difficult to defend. It will be nice to have a race weekend without any problems, and that’s what we are all working for when we head to Europe."
Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal
"For Romain it was another frustrating day but we can see there is clear progress as he qualified and was racing in the top ten for points. For Pastor, it was a tough day as he was forced to start from the back due to yesterday’s problems, but he delivered everything we wanted from him with some strong lap times during the course of his race. We took another step forward in terms of pace here and we are pushing for another step forward in Barcelona.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director
"Romain suffered from a gearbox issue which meant he lost fourth gear and then other gears meaning his race could not continue. Obviously, this is not ideal and we’re investigating the cause. It’s a shame as Romain had been running reasonably well in the points and able to race his rivals, and a points finish was realistic. Pastor did a great job from the back of the grid to finish in fourteenth. For Barcelona we have more upgrades for the chassis and engine so we should be more competitive there."
Laurent Debout, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader
“We’ve made some real progress this weekend and for the first time since Melbourne we could show we had the pace for points, which is why today is so disappointing. We have identified some further development with the power unit here so with the three weeks between this race and Spain we’ll work with the team to capitalise on the potential.”