Romain Grosjean – “[China] was a difficult weekend for us and certainly not the outcome we had wanted. It still feels like it was a negative weekend, but in the near future, I’m sure we’ll see positives from it because it’s in the tough situations you learn the most. Hopefully, we can learn what happened. If anything was wrong with the car, what can we do better? What can we do differently? How do we react in a better way if we find ourselves in a similar situation? I think it’s one of those things you have to face as a new team, but I’m sure we’re going to react very well, as we have done so far every time.
“[Sochi] is a good track to drive. I think the corners flow into each other quite nicely, [and] I like turn three. It’s a very high-speed corner, a fun place. There’s a very long straight line to start, followed by big braking into a right-hand side corner, taken in third or fourth gear. Then you have the famous turn three, which is flat out in qualifying. Then you go into turn four – you can carry quite good speed into it. The next few corners are very similar. They flow nicely and you enjoy some good speed in the car. Then you go on the backstraight, again with very tricky braking. Then the last section of the track is much slower, in particular the last two corners. The pit entry is also a bit tricky. The finish line is straight at the last corner, so depending if you’re on a qualifying lap or a racing lap, each one is different.”
Esteban Gutierrez – “It was a very big relief to finally do a lot of consecutive laps [in China]. I was enjoying the car and the race so much that I could have continued for another 50 laps, probably. It was quite a tricky situation by not being able to practice on Friday and having the wet session on Saturday morning. Basically, we didn’t have many laps under our belts and it was quite a challenge to arrive into qualifying directly without any preparation, but still having to do proper laps. I think we managed it pretty well as a team.
“[Sochi] is a track that is pretty stop-and-go. It requires a very different setup to what we had in China. I love the first sector. It’s a nice, big braking into turn one, then you have the long turn three which is flat out. Then you have a series of medium-speed corners which are also quite fun.”
Guenther Steiner, team principal – “We just couldn’t get the car to do what we wanted it to do [in China]. We had a problem with Esteban’s car, so he went out very little on Friday, which was part of our overall problem. We cannot make mistakes like that over the entire weekend. Not even Romain can catch up if we are not using our time as efficiently as possible.I think at some point we always knew we’d have a setback, and it came in our third race. We’ll just try again in Russia to get it right and end up where we should be.
“The silver lining is we finished with two cars, which was a first for us. It wasn’t as successful as we wanted it to be, position-wise. We had seven pit stops total with the two drivers and they all worked well. We gained a lot of confidence in our pit stops, but we learned that managing two cars during a race is a lot more difficult that managing one. Now we are better prepared to take two cars to the finish, as we should.”