31 August 2015
Lotus ‘a united team punching above its weight’
Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi, still on a high after Romain Grosjean's Spa podium, is in fighting mood ahead of F1's trip to Italy.
Romain Grosjean's podium at the Belgian Grand Prix could not have been better timed for Lotus, but deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi insists that the potential was always there.
Grosjean claimed the final step of the podium after his challenge to Sebastian Vettel in the closing laps was 'rewarded' with a tyre failure on the German's Ferrari, and came as bailiffs waited to impound the team's cars and equipment as part of a legal case brought by former reserve driver Charles Pic.
While that hiccup and ongoing financial struggles could be alleviated by the return of Renault, which is reportedly poised to buy a majority stake in the Enstone operation as a means of returning to F1 as an entrant in its own right, Gastaldi maintains that the Spa result was justification of the efforts put in both at the track and behind the scenes.
“I was very, very happy for the team, but not amazed because I know that the team has the ability to always deliver such great results,” he insisted, “We have great drivers and fantastic people at Enstone. For me, we are the best people in the paddock, so I'm not surprised by the result and, even though we currently face some challenges, we can still deliver strong cars.
“It was a great job by Romain and a great job by all at Enstone. We are facing challenges, but we are a united team. We have shown many times that we are fighters and that we punch above our weight. We are now fifth in the constructors' championship and that makes me proud of everyone at Enstone. We want to continue to show our worth and fight on each and every lap these coming races.”
Next up for Lotus and Gastaldi is the Italian Grand Prix, an event close to the deputy team principal's heart, and one where Grosjean has already said he can shoot for another top three finish.
“Monza is a fantastic race track – and it's very important for me personally as my ancestors were from Italy,” he noted, “More seriously, Monza, Spa, Silverstone have all been part of the original history of motor racing. Monza is and will always remain a classic in the F1 calendar.
“As in Spa, we have good chances to perform well in Italy with the E23 and bring back home a haul of points. The team will prepare the cars as usual for the weekend sessions and hopefully, with a clear weekend, we can hope for a good performance by both drivers.”
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