Calamitous Italian GP for Lotus

At Spa they were celebrating a podium, but two weeks later both Lotus drivers failed to see the chequered flag at the Italian Grand Prix.

Romain Grosjean gave the Enstone squad a much needed boost at the Belgian GP as he finished third, but the Frenchman and team-mate Pastor Maldonado both failed to see the chequered flag at Monza on Sunday.

The duo picked up damage at the opening corner and were forced to retire before they really got going.

Alan Permane, trackside operations director, said: "A disastrous race for us with our cars retiring following incidents at turn one," he said. "Both drivers started in the top ten and we had potential for a good points haul but Monza’s turn one can get very crowded on the first lap, which is what we saw today.

"It’s been a challenging weekend for us, but the response from our fellow competitors has been tremendous and we thank them all for that. We’ve seen that the E23 has still got strong pace so we’re heading to Singapore and Japan eager for clean races to re-ignite our championship fight."

Grosjean, who was hit by Sauber's Felipe Nasr, remains upbeat about the E23's potential despite their Monza setback.

"I made a strong start but got hit by a car from behind in turn one which broke my rear suspension so that was it for us," he said. "It was a too optimistic move from Nasr who hit me which meant my race was over.

"It’s been a tough weekend but everyone has made the most of the opportunities we have and the spirit of the team and the support from the F1 world has been amazing. The E23 still feels good so we head to the next races optimistic of more good results to come."

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