Lotus preview the Malaysian GP


Having missed out on points in Australia, Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado are determined to finish in the top 10 at Sepang.

Romain Grosjean: "The first challenges in Malaysia will be the heat, humidity and usual rain storms at 4pm! It’s a good track with some interesting corners, fast straights and a track surface that can sometimes be difficult to understand. The heat and humidity can give the cars and drivers something to think about and the rain can give us all a challenge too. For us as a team, the target is to get some race laps on the board.

"[Sepang is] one of my favourites. It has a great flow to it and there are good overtaking opportunities as well as good potential for an exciting race. It’s a circuit that many drivers like. It’s also an interesting track for the engineers working to get the best set-up for the car to work well. It makes for quite a hard race too, as you have the heat and humidity along with the challenge of the track itself. It’s going to be fun.

"Our target for the early races is to be regularly in the top ten. We certainly demonstrated that in Albert Park and our race pace simulations were good so if we’d remained in the race we should have finished strongly. There’s nothing to suggest this can’t be the case in Malaysia and we really want to start scoring points."

Pastor Maldonado: "Sepang is a good track and I really like the challenges it presents. It’s very interesting from an engineering point of view, especially the aerodynamics, but also the tyres because the asphalt is very aggressive. Hopefully the race will be much longer for us than it was in Australia!

"We know the weather at Sepang can change a lot; in fact it is usually either extreme heat or extreme rain, so very tropical and we’ll need to be ready for everything. Also the high temperatures are hard on the cars in terms of reliability. From the driving point of view it is quite stressful as well. All round, I would say Sepang is one of the toughest races of the year. We’ll need to be strong in all areas."

Federico Gastaldi, Lotus deputy team principal: "It’s amazing to think we’ll be racing in Sepang for the 17th time this year! Malaysia’s an interesting commercial market for us as a team and the event usually delivers a great race. Sepang’s a superb facility and there’s normally a really strong turn out too. The track layout really challenges the drivers and engineers and this combined with the challenges the weather can present makes for an event we all enjoy.

"We should build on the work in Australia. Yes, our race was very short there, however we’ve demonstrated the first step of our 2015 fightback by qualifying in the top ten with good race pace potential. There’s nothing to say Sepang should not suit us, so we’re ready to deliver. Points. That’s what we’re here for. We want to see progress from the start we made at Albert Park and it would be fantastic to have both cars greet the chequered flag with a good clutch of points stashed away. Of course, this is what every team is trying to do, but we’re battling hard at Enstone to make this happen."