14 September 2014
F1: Gastaldi expecting street fighters to shine in Singapore
After a tough weekend at Monza, Lotus F1's Federico Gastaldi expects the Enstone team to bounce back in the tighter confines of Singapore's Marina Bay...
Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi believes that the forthcoming Singapore Grand Prix will allow his drivers to show themselves in a more positive light than the last outing in Italy.
The Monza circuit was never going to be a favourable one for the Lotus duo, and Gastaldi is confident that the tighter confines of Singapore's Marina Bay layout will be more conducive to potential point-scoring performances for both Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.
While Maldonado has yet to score this season – albeit without being able to take the start at the calendar's 'other' street circuit – Grosjean claimed one of his two eighth-place finishes in Monaco, suggesting that the E22 may be able to both compete and benefit from attrition in Singapore.
“Monza was always going to be very hard for us,” Gastaldi confirmed, “Singapore should see an improvement in pace as the track characteristics will suit us more. The drivers are fighters and they really enjoy street circuits, so I think we have the potential to extract a good level of performance from the E22 there. Pastor and Romain will have a stronger package relative to Monza, so I am sure they will grasp this and make the most of it.
“Pastor drove a very strong race at Monza. He had a great start and his pace was pretty good throughout. I thought he dealt with some difficult circumstances very well during the whole event. He had the measure of the Saubers and brought the car home in a solid finishing position. It was also nice to get both of our cars to the finish line, especially after some technical issues in recent races. Romain had a few concerns, including other cars hitting him, but we take some satisfaction in getting more data and ensuring we can go to Singapore hopeful of a much stronger overall weekend.”
With Grosjean effectively confirming that development of the E22 has been shut down in favour of the 2015 contender, Gastaldi revealed that work was continuing on both fronts in the hope of reviving Lotus' fortunes next season.
“There is a lot going on behind the scenes and a lot of positive plans being made to ensure we are still pushing right to the end of this season,” he explained, “A lot of technical and commercial work is being undertaken also for 2015, as you would expect. We are doing things step-by-step but, at the moment, but already things look positive for next season.”
To that end, a late-season visit to the Singapore business hub could not be better timed….
“It is a very important market for us as a team,” Gastaldi acknowledged, “We have seen increasing attention and interest from Singapore companies and have regular contact with many of them. The business centre of Singapore is one of the best, influential and most active in the world so we undertake lots of meetings and hospitality at the race.
“I must say the Singapore people have embraced F1 completely. They are passionate about the sport and they are proud to have a race right in the heart of their fantastic country.”
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