Despite delvering a standout qualifying performance to give the Lotus F1 Team its first top-ten qualifying result of the season, Romain Grosjean admitted to being disappointed that he couldn’t extract more from the Renault-powered E22 in yesterday’s qualifying session at Shanghai.

The Frenchman was third-quickest in the damp final practice session on Saturday, and carried forward the car’s strong pace into qualifying. After comfortably making the Q3 cut, he faded to finish slowest of the ten runners.

“We have made good progress this weekend,” he said after qualifying.

“Things went better this morning than in qualifying this afternoon and so we maybe had even higher hopes. I’m not sure why we didn’t feel as much performance this afternoon than in FP3. I also suffered with the tyres and the conditions changed a little from this morning.

“We are hoping for a good race for tomorrow and hopefully we can stay in the top ten.”

That may prove to be a challenge given the dry forecast for today’s 56-lap race, although the team will be counting on the raft of upgrades it and Renault have introduced to the car following the team’s poor showings in the opening three Grands Prix.

Grosjean’s teammate Pastor Maldonado will start from the back of the grid after he was unable to participate in qualifying following an oil leak in his car in final practice. The FIA Stewards gave the Venezuelan dispensation to take the grid for today’s race.

Image via XPB Images

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.