Pastor Maldonado made his public debut at the wheel of the new Lotus E22 on Thursday, but he only managed to complete 26 laps after a gearbox issue caused him to stop twice out on track.
“We started the day with a promising morning,” said trackside operations director Alan Permane. “Pastor settled in very quickly and we were able to make some progress with the car. Unfortunately, in the afternoon we had a number of gearbox related problems. Renault have made good progress with the software and Energy Store so we are headed in the right direction in that regards.”
However, he admitted that the team’s running on Saturday could be delayed due to parts being flown to Bahrain from its factory: “We have identified the issue related to our gearbox and we have parts on their way from Enstone. Given the distance they have to travel, we may not be out first thing tomorrow, but we expect to be able to make further progress once we do take to the track.”
Maldonado said he has settled into the team well, adding that he is hoping for a more productive session on the fourth day. “It’s great to complete my first day of testing with the team, even if we didn’t get the number of laps we’d want,” said the Venezuelan. “The car feels good with what we’ve done so far and it’s great to be working with everyone in the garage.
“It’s all been very easy from that side of things and I know I’m going to work well with everyone through the year. We had some problems today, but we hope that tomorrow will be better. I can’t wait for some more laps.”
Image courtesy of Lotus F1 Team