Disco Inferno – 2014 Abu Dhabi GP, Sunday

Sunday 23rd November

Romain Grosjean completed the final race lap for the Lotus F1 Team E22 by finishing in thirteenth position in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, whilst Pastor Maldonado had to park his car early after flames from the rear of his E22 indicated his race was over on lap 26. Both drivers showed good race pace, with Pastor running strongly before his race demise and Romain fighting back from grid and drive-through penalties.

Romain started from P18 on new super soft compound tyres. He remained on super soft tyres for a pit lane drive-through penalty at the end of lap one, then changed to new soft compound tyres on laps 8 and 21.
Pastor started from P15 on new super soft compound tyres. He changed to new soft compound tyres on lap 7 before parking his flame-sporting car on lap 26.

Romain Grosjean, P13, E22-03
“We did the best we could today. My race wasn’t that eventful and unfortunately it came to an early end for Pastor, so I think that we are all glad that the season is now over. We thought about doing a three stop strategy early in the race but then we swapped back to two stops. I’m already looking forward to being in the simulator to test the E23. We have a new Power Unit and aerodynamically next year’s car is looking like a great step forward. Now it’s time to take a break, recharge our batteries and look forward to 2015.”

Pastor Maldonado, DNF, E22-02
“That was a surprising race for me. Our race pace was actually pretty good and I was able to fight with the Ferraris as well as enjoy the feel from the car. I was able to push and the car worked well on both tyre compounds. Unfortunately, my race had to end early. The flames showed the engine wasn’t working too well which also mean it was getting quite hot in the car! It’s a shame to finish a season like we did, but I know we have a lot of potential for 2015, so I am really looking forward to surprising some people when we return.”

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal
“2014 won’t go down as a memorable season in terms of results for Enstone, but it will be a year we remember for really testing our resolve and strengthening our character. Everyone at the track and at Enstone has fought all the way, despite the lack of results. We are determined to come back stronger in 2015 and everything is in place to enable this. Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes for their titles in 2014; both driver and team set a very high standard, so we know our goals for the future.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director
“Firstly, we must thank Renault Sport F1 for all the good times we have enjoyed over the many years of our relationship together. It wasn’t quite the send-off we wanted, with disappointment for Pastor who suffered a Power Unit failure. He was running strongly in the race and our predictions show he would have finished quite closely to Ferrari, so close to the points. Romain struggled a little bit more on this first set of soft tyres so we opted for an early next stop, which meant a longer final stint. He did a very good job considering the penalties he had to serve early in the race. No doubt it’s been a tough season from which we have learnt a lot. We are already fully focused on 2015 and aim to come back much stronger next season.”

Simon Rebreyend, Renault Sport F1 track support leader
“Our final race with Lotus F1 Team was a mixed affair, with Romain coming back strongly after starting from the back and serving his drive-through penalty on lap two. We changed some of the PU components before the weekend and everything went according to plan on that side of the garage. The fuel consumption was quite high but we were able to manage it. Unfortunately Pastor’s PU suffered a problem mid-race that led to his retirement. We’re still looking into what happened and will undoubtedly learn something from it ahead of next season. Finally, I must say a huge thank you to ‘Team Enstone’ with whom we have enjoyed an incredibly strong relationship since 1995. We wish them all the best.”