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Maldonado puts it in the wall as Grosjean flourishes

May 10, 2014, 9:54 AM EDT

Spanish F1 Grand Prix - Qualifying Getty Images

After such a dismal start to the season, Lotus has finally delivered on the form that it has been saying would come as Romain Grosjean qualified a brilliant fifth for tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The team’s efforts in 2014 have been blighted so far by a number of problems with the car, the engine and financial troubles on the side. However, after cruelly being denied some points in China by a gearbox failure, Grosjean appears to be well in the running to make up for it this weekend after finishing inside the top five on Saturday.

The Frenchman only just managed to make it through Q1, but looked more comfortable during Q2 and Q3 as he produced a lap time that put himself ahead of both Ferrari drivers and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel. In fact, only Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas could outqualify him.

In the sister Lotus, though, it was a very different story. Pastor Maldonado’s session lasted just 90 seconds as he spun his car into the wall at turn three, ruining the front end and bringing out the red flag. For the third time this season, he will start the race from last place.

It was another sloppy error from the Venezuelan driver, who has scored just one point in the last 24 races. It is hard to believe that this is the same driver who claimed a shock victory at this very circuit two years ago.

However, Lotus will undoubtedly choose to look on the bright side of qualifying. Grosjean’s result proves that the E22 does indeed have the pace to fight at the sharp end of the field, and the Frenchman will now be keen on converting this into his first points of the season on Sunday.

  1. worknman24hours - May 10, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    While people will be admonishing Maldonado for wrecking the car,he likely was thinking of those coming around the corner right at him and did the safest thing rather then try and finesse the car away from the wall.

    Maldonado simply locked up the wheels,bled off as much speed as possible and got the car off the track,away from any other car that was coming down the track.

    That’s not a bad decision at all.

  2. mrpaullyo - May 11, 2014 at 1:46 AM

    I mean he does he has plenty of experience in this sort of situation

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