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.