Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi wants the team to investigate its race pace in order to provide a bigger challenge to Williams in the Austrian Grand Prix.
Having qualified fifth and sixth in Canada with Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado respectively, Lotus was confident of battling Williams - which also uses a Mercedes power unit - in the race. However, neither car threatened Valtteri Bottas who went on to finish third, while Felipe Massa even climbed through the field to finish ahead of both Lotus drivers and Gastaldi told F1i he is not satisfied with the car’s relative pace in the race.
“Obviously we have to try to do some homework this week to try to understand what happened and try to be more competitive at the next race in Austria,” Gastaldi said. “We’re getting there. There’s still a lot of work to do. I always say we have a fantastic team of people in Enstone, very experienced, very skilled. The drivers are fantastic, if we give them a good car, they deliver.
“We understand that in Enstone we have the right human material to produce good cars. We have to understand things, [potential new parts] will be put on the table this week. At Silverstone there might be more improvements in the next couple of weeks. If we can produce some improvements we will.”
Despite being disappointed by the car’s pace, Gastaldi was more impressed with Maldonado’s performance as he scored his first points of the season.
“He did a fantastic job. As I keep saying from last year. People might not be aware but back in 2010 we tried to hire him and actually Vitaly Petrov’s management were more hands on in the opportunity. I happen to know him from the past and he’s a very quick driver.
“He has the potential so we know that if we give him a good car … he can make mistakes sometimes like any other driver. He had problems in Australia and Malaysia which were not his fault, just racing incidents. But if we give him a good car, he can deliver, that’s for sure. He has shown that he can be very fast.”
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