Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado expressed different emotions after securing 12th and 13th positions on the grid respectively for the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday.
Grosjean believes the Lotus E23 Hybrid performed better than expected at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez while Maldonado was underwhelmed with the feel of the car.
"We’re at a very high altitude, at a track with very low grip, requiring good downforce – which we know are not our strongest points - so we weren’t massively confident of our performance heading into qualifying," said Grosjean, whose Lotus swansong continues ahead of his Haas move.
"We did better than expected, even though we struggled to get the tyres to work. We still have a good opportunity tomorrow; it’s a long race where everyone’s brakes and engines are likely to struggle.
"The start will be very important; we’ll try to use all our experience and make a decent result happen."
"I was hoping for a little bit better from qualifying but we were struggling for front grip and the rear stability wasn’t fantastic," countered Maldonado.
"We expected more of a benefit from running with the new tyres but we weren’t able to unlock it. It’s a long race, we usually have good race pace so let’s go for some more points."