The Lotus F1 Team has blamed a persistent turbo wastegate problem in stymieing its performance in qualifying at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Romain Grosjean made the Q2 cut but proceeded no further after running 16th-fastest, while teammate Pastor Maldonado was eliminated at the first hurdle and will start two spots further down the order.
“Very frustrating,” was trackside operations director Alan Permane’s summation of the team’s Saturday.
“The E22 has been working much better in high downforce here in Singapore and both drivers had the potential to qualify higher than we have seen for most of this season. Unfortunately, both experienced a similar issue related to the turbo wastegate which meant they lacked full power when they needed it most during qualifying.”
Grosjean was the most focal in his frustrations, and complained bitterly over the pit-to-car radio – broadcast to the world by FOM – when his power delivery issues struck again.
“We could have gotten up to P13 in qualifying today, the car was looking good and the team has been working very hard all weekend,” a more circumspect Frenchman said afterwards.
“I’m happy as I can be with the E22 so it’s frustrating to have had an issue on the power side, which cost me a lot of time. Everything can happen in the race so we will have to go for it.”
“Unfortunately we had some problems which meant we weren’t able to finish our qualifying lap with full power, and that penalised us a bit too much in the last sector.,” teammate Pastor Maldonado added.
“We are normally more competitive with race pace and we expect that here. We also have a lot of new tyres which we can play on strategy-wise. It’s a long race, the delta between all the cars is closer and that gives a good possibility to do well.”
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