Italian GP: Lotus F1 team forced to borrow tyre blankets

Lotus had to borrow tyre blankets from rival Formula 1 teams ahead of qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix after overnight rain rendered its own unusable

Italian GP: Lotus F1 team forced to borrow tyre blankets

The tyre blankets were soaked through when Lotus arrived at Monza on Saturday morning.

Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane said the team would have been unable to run had Ferrari, Toro Rosso and Sauber not offered help.

Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean did limited running in final practice and were hampered during qualifying as the tyre blankets did not reach their ideal temperature in time.

"We had some problems this morning with tyre blankets and the rain playing havoc with us," Permane told AUTOSPORT.

"They were soaking wet when we came in but we managed to borrow some tyre blankets.

"We are thankful to Sauber, Ferrari and Toro Rosso for lending us a set or two each to help us out of trouble.

"But that meant our tyres were a bit late going on for qualifying so they didn't have as much heat as they perhaps could have done.

"When it is critical in Q3, when you want everything perfect, and they are not quite up to temperature, that can have an effect.

"Without their help we wouldn't have even be there so we are eternally grateful to them.

"We're in direct competition with Sauber and Toro Rosso and they didn't hesitate to help us out so it's much appreciated."

Grosjean qualified eighth with Maldonado 11th. While Permane conceded a second successive podium, after the Frenchman's third at Spa, will be difficult he was hopeful of good points.

"We have the same tyres we had in Spa last week, with a tiny bit less downforce, and we went very well there so I expect us to go very well tomorrow," he said.

"Williams look a bit quicker than us, quicker than they were in Spa, so I think our race is with Force India, which is quite nice as it's a battle for fifth in the championship."

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