Grosjean and Lotus end points drought in China

0 Comments

Romain Grosjean and Lotus F1 Team both ended a barren run of form in China on Sunday by scoring their best results since the 2013 United States Grand Prix.

Lotus has made rapid progress with its all-new E23 Hybrid car and Mercedes power unit, and was only denied points in the first two races due to technical problems and on-track incidents.

In Shanghai on Sunday, Grosjean finished the race in seventh place to pick up the team’s first points of the season and his first since the Monaco Grand Prix last May.

“It’s the best we could do today and it’s satisfying to have achieved the team’s first points of the season,” Grosjean said. “I’m proud of everyone at Enstone and at the track.

“It wasn’t an easy circuit for us, with a lot of front limited corners that we don’t particularly like, but we had a strong start, and most of the stints were good too.

“We’ve made a good job improving the car race after race and it’s great to finally score points. The next race could be promising too!”

Grosjean finished in a highest position of eighth in 2014, making this his best result since he finished second at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, at the 2013 United States Grand Prix.

His teammate, Pastor Maldonado, was also set for points in China before making two mistakes. After locking up and missing the entry to the pit lane, the Venezuelan dropped from seventh to 14th. He then spun to fall further back before retiring due to damage caused by McLaren’s Jenson Button in an on-track clash.

“I made a great start and we were running strongly early on however later I had a braking issue which made it harder to battle,” Maldonado said.

“We also have to understand why the brakes locked-up so easily coming into the pits. We lost a lot of time here and it compromised the rest of my race. It was a fantastic battle with Jenson and we were passing each other very cleanly; a good, fun, exciting battle

“Unfortunately, it looks like he got his braking point wrong and went into the back of me. This can easily happen when you’re fighting for position, braking off-line and using DRS, so it’s just one of those things.

“Certainly our race pace is good, if we qualify a little higher we should be set for a very good time in Bahrain.”

These points mark Lotus’ first since Maldonado finished ninth in Austin last year, and will be something to build on heading into the rest of the 2015 F1 season.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
0 Comments

Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.