Romain Grosjean’s hopes of another strong result for Lotus in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday were ended after a hydraulic leak prevented him from setting a lap time during Q3.
Grosjean has led the team’s revival in 2015 with the all-new E23 Hybrid car, scoring 17 points in the opening seven races of the season.
After getting into Q3 on Saturday at the Red Bull Ring, the Frenchman had been hoping to replicate his fifth-place finish during qualifying in Canada two weeks ago.
However, a problem on his car meant that he was unable to get out for a single lap in Q3, leaving him tenth in the final standings.
“That was frustrating as we should be qualifying higher than P9,” Grosjean said. “I went out for Q3 but it was immediately apparent that there was an issue and the team called me back in.
“It was a hydraulic leak which we thought we could fix, but sadly we just missed out on going out again. Starting from P9 is not the end of the world and it could be an interesting race tomorrow.
“I’ll be pushing all the way to make up as many places as possible.”
Grosjean makes up a place on the grid for tomorrow’s race by virtue of Daniil Kvyat’s grid penalty, whilst Lotus teammate Pastor Maldonado moves up to P10.
“It was quite a busy qualifying session with the track drying and everyone trying to get their fast laps in when the surface was at its best,” Maldonado said.
“Unfortunately we weren’t able to get a clean, fast lap at the vital moment to get into the top ten, but at least we are the first of the cars able to choose our starting tires tomorrow. It’s a great track here so we could still score a great result.”
The Austrian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.