After three races without adding to its already meagre points haul, Lotus is looking forward to Silverstone and a chance to return to the top ten on a track it believes will suit the E22 chassis.
Romain Grosjean's back-to-back eighth place finishes in Spain and Monaco seem a very long time ago for a team that has had to battle its way into the midfield after a frustrating start to the season, but deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi insists that there were still positives to take from an Austrian Grand Prix that yielded only twelfth and 14th positions.
“The team fought back with typical spirit from a really tough time in Montréal, which says a lot about the team and the spirit we have,” he claimed, “This gives us a good platform to achieve our aims and objectives for Silverstone, which is to add to our points tally.
“Pastor [Maldonado] had arguably his best race of the season so far. He showed that he could fight for points and he was actually unlucky not to get his first of the season. Pastor was one of only four drivers to achieve his theoretical best lap in qualifying which shows that, when everything is right, he can deliver. I would not say that we came away with too much satisfaction because we were not rewarded with points but, for Pastor, the maximum was extracted from his race in Austria, so positives could be taken.
“I was also impressed [with Grosjean's tenacity after starting in pit-lane]. It is never easy coming back from the technical set-back he suffered, yet Romain showed the fighting spirit which he is famous for - and which the team really appreciate. He made easy work of those immediately in front of him but then had some brake issues, like a lot of our competitors did during the race. Romain remains upbeat and he knows that although it is taking longer than anyone expected, he can exploit the potential that exists in the E22. He is as hungry as ever.”
With Silverstone being not too dissimilar to Barcelona, in that it is a technical circuit albeit quicker in nature, Gastaldi is confident that Lotus can be in the mix for points as the season reaches its halfway stage.
“The momentum we got from the Spanish Grand Prix and the test afterwards was forgotten slightly after the tough three races since then,” he noted, “We have to match the slower speed corner performance of the E22 to the high speed performance, but we know that, at a track like Silverstone, we should be able to see similar performance and exploit the capabilities of the E22 and the powertrain package with the help of Renault Sport F1.”
“We want to achieve something for everyone at Enstone to have an extra special spring in their step on the Monday after the British Grand Prix.”