MAY 9, 2015

Lotus tension brewing over Friday issue

Tension is reportedly brewing between Romain Grosjean and his Lotus teammate Pastor Maldonado.

In China and Bahrain, Frenchman Grosjean sat out Friday practice so that team reserve Jolyon Palmer - who reportedly brings EUR 4 million to the team - could drive.

Ahead of this weekend's Spanish grand prix, it emerged that the Enstone team's deputy Federico Gastaldi had asked Maldonado to take a turn on the Friday bench, but the Venezuelan driver and his entourage "refused".

Maldonado, who is strongly backed by the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA, "made it clear to the team that his agreement gives him the right to drive in each session at every grand prix," Turun Sanomat correspondent Luis Vasconcelos reported.

However, Germany's Auto Motor und Sport now reports that, when asked about the issue, Maldonado apparently replied that if he is asked to step aside for Palmer, he will.

But Grosjean, who sat out Friday practice again on Friday, said in Barcelona: "I have raised it already ten times, and still nothing has happened."