6 July 2015
F1 British Grand Prix: ‘Cruel’ end as Silverstone proves too short for Lotus
Neither Romain Grosjean nor Pastor Maldonado lasted beyond the first lap of the British Grand Prix - and for once it wasn't their fault....
While it may not have qualified as strongly as it would have liked, Lotus still had high hopes of being able to salvage some points from the British Grand Prix. Instead, it was left to salvage parts from two damaged cars…
The Enstone-based team's hopes evaporated before the opening lap was out, as the same incident eliminated both Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado at turn three. The initial contact was between Grosjean and Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull, but resulted in the Frenchman veering into his unwitting team-mate damaging the Venezuelan's car as well as his own.
“That was a very short race for the team and I feel for everyone here at Silverstone and at Enstone,” Grosjean said, aware that members of the 'behind the scenes' team back at the factory had been bussed into the circuit to watch 'their' cars in action, “Daniel must have thought his brakes and tyres would be able to slow him better than they did but the result was the end of both my and Pastor's race.
“No-one likes to end a grand prix like that, as so much effort goes into making and preparing the cars. I know we have many fans who want to see us race, so I feel for them too.”
Grosjean, who had started from the outside of row six, retired on the spot, but Maldonado attempted to limp back to the pits and had completed more of the lap before the team told him to also park up
“At first, I thought I had a puncture and would be able to return to the pits and rejoin the race,” the Venezuelan, who had started 14th on the back of consecutive scoring finishes, reported, “Unfortunately, the damage to the car was more serious than that and I had to retire. There is nothing you can do in situations like these as it's all part of racing. "
The incident also enveloped both McLaren drivers, with Jenson Button being tagged by team-mate Fernando Alonso and losing drive in his MP4-30. Alonso continued after a pit-stop to replace the nose on his car, eventually snagging the final point, while Ricciardo, who instigated the melee, was forced to withdraw mid-race after losing power from his Renault engine.
"Motorsport is sometimes a cruel sport and we saw that today,” deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi concluded, “There was nothing either of our drivers could have done to avoid the first lap incident and that was our race over.
“It's been a frustrating home weekend for us. We weren't able to show the pace we have in the car, we've suffered from a few niggles, then it was a very early bath for both our guys. Our focus is now very much on Budapest and doing everything we can to ensure we perform at the best of our ability there.”
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