Lotus joined Marussia and Caterham at the back of the Malaysian GP grid but at least both drivers set times and Romain Grosjean made it into Q2...
Romain Grosjean: "It was definitely a good surprise to reach Q2 today, and I think we would have had the potential to reach Q3 had it not been for a miscommunication towards the end of the session when I should have come in for new tyres. At the moment we're just trying to make the best of everything we have and then to put that together. It's clear there has been some good progression; today we made some strong improvements and didn't have many problems, so we just need a bit more of that! The car was on the track when we wanted it to be, and we were able to try a few different things - some of which worked, and some of which didn't - and it was a good Q1. Q2 could have been better, but overall we'll hope that everything goes well tomorrow and then we'll take it from there"
Pastor Maldonado: "I was on a good flying lap when the red flag came out and, for sure, I would have improved my position if I had been able to finish my lap. At the same time, I think we were a bit late with new tyres, so we'll need to analyse that. In these conditions it's a bit like a lottery, and this time I was unlucky. The important and positive thing is that the car is running quite well, and there were no problems today, which is very good. We're very happy and hopefully this is a big step forwards and we can start to develop our performance from here."
Jules Bianchi: "I think it was a good qualifying session and one where we did not experience any issues with the ERS management, so this is positive. Now we have to work on the difficulties we experienced in the wet for the first time. The conditions were very changeable so timing was always going to be critical today. Now we will keep working for the race tomorrow, as I think we can achieve a good result if circumstances go our way and we make the best of everything."
Max Chilton: "A slightly frustrating qualifying session after having been on the pace all weekend. In those conditions, you get one chance to pull everything together at the same time and the only time I got a clear lap was the lap where I didn't get any ERS. I also had traffic on my push lap, so it was a bit of a messy session all round, which is a shame as I felt quite confident with the car. We don't yet know what tomorrow will bring but I'm prepared for any eventuality weather-wise and I think we have a car to take advantage of any opportunities."
Kamui Kobayashi: "Yet more problems with the car meant I was only able to complete seven laps in FP3. Even with that limited running we were still able to make a bit of progress, and with the data generated from my teammate's car we were able to set the car up for quali, but obviously this isn't how we are going to find out what the car is really capable of. In quali we went out with the pack on inters and as much as I was pushing I wasn't able to get any more out of the car, especially as I couldn't get the inters into their working range so never had them running properly. Bearing in mind the tiny number of laps we did all weekend, and the problems we had on Saturday morning, the fact we were even running in qualifying was down to the hard work the team put in, so to have got out there and put in laps after all the problems we've had is a small reward. Now we focus on tomorrow and hope we can have a full race. If it rains like it did today anything could happen - I just want the chance to race properly!"
Marcus Ericsson: ""After the first FP3 run it was clear we'd made a good step from last night, both with the overall handling and with the driveability of the power unit. On the first run we were out on the primes and even though it was an improvement from Friday there was still pretty low grip. We then did one run on options with a couple of setup changes and the car immediately felt better, still not really close to an optimum setup but a bit closer. Unfortunately after that second run we found an oil leak which meant we had to end the session just after the performance run, but we went into qualifying with a bit of an idea of where we would be in terms of outright pace in the dry. The rain started before quali and we went into the delayed session knowing we'd start on a wet track. That was my first ever wet running in F1, in any session, so from the first lap it was all a new experience for me. It didn't start too well with the car cutting out while I was waiting in the pitlane, but we fired it up again in the garage and I rejoined right in the middle of a pack of cars on their first Q1 quick laps - that was pretty interesting I have to say! With every lap I was learning more and more and we made a quick stop with a few minutes left to put on another set of inters, but then on the final quick lap I made a mistake in sector one and crashed. I'm really sorry for the team. They've worked so hard all weekend on the problems we've had, and now they have another huge job ahead of them to prepare the car for tomorrow, but I know they'll keep pushing and we'll all come back fighting tomorrow. This has been another big lesson for me - my first wet running in F1, my first Q1 on inters and my first big off - it's all part of being a rookie in F1 and I will learn from every single thing that happens."
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