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Q&A - Romain Grosjean, Lotus

Romain Grosjean returns to F1 with Lotus for 2012
Q:
How does it feel to have a full-time F1 drive?

Romain Grosjean:
It's just starting to sink in. It's a dream come true to get this drive. A fantastic emotion and a fantastic challenge as well. I think the team has a really good line-up for this year, with Kimi and myself. Hopefully we can do something special. I think I'll only truly realise it when we get to Melbourne and I see my name on the official entry list. For now I'm really happy to be at the factory as much as I can, to get involved with the team and get ready for testing.

Q:
How do you view this season - you had a part season two years ago – so is this a part-rookie year?

Romain Grosjean:
It's difficult to say how I should view this season. For sure I did seven Grands Prix alongside Fernando [Alonso] and the experience I gained from that was helpful - and is still helpful today. On the other hand there are still some circuits that I don't know. But I don't think we can say I'm a rookie, just because of the experience I have. Let's say that I am a young driver who still has plenty of things to learn in Formula One, but we are all expecting a good season.

Q:
How and why is the 2012 specification Romain Grosjean different compared to the 2009 version?

Romain Grosjean:
Compared with 2009 I am two years older! No big difference, just an improvement in terms of many small things, including maturity. The 2009 experience was very helpful for me to understand things and grow up from that point. So it was difficult, but very good as well. The 2012 Romain Grosjean sees life a little bit different. My aim is to enjoy my number one passion, Formula One.

Q:
How did you get the drive for 2012?

Romain Grosjean:
The process for getting the 2012 drive really began with GP2, where my goal was to bring DAMS back to the top and show that I can be a team leader. For sure winning the title was something that we all wanted, but championships can depend on many things. Then there were the two Friday morning sessions in Formula One, which were a real test in terms of seeing if I had the speed, feedback and everything the team was looking for. I knew it was very important and it went well, but then you just have to wait. That was the most difficult part, but I knew I'd done everything - the best I could do - so I had no regrets. I was waiting and just trying to read the faces of the people in the team to imagine what the decision would be! That's always part of this job. You get used to it year after year.

Q:
How have your pre-season preparations gone?

Romain Grosjean:
My winter preparations have not been too bad. I've just been doing some training until I can drive the car. Fortunately it's not long until the first test on February 7. I'm trying to come to the factory as much as I can, to spend some time and discuss things with the engineers - grab a beer, or whatever! It's a long season - 20 Grands Prix plus testing - to spend with the same people and it's important that you get along well with everyone. I'm very happy to be with them and part of this team. I think I've changed since 2009 and the team sees that. The relationship is much stronger and much better today.

Q:
What do you expect will be your biggest challenge in 2012?

Romain Grosjean:
Formula One is a big, big challenge, but I think the biggest challenge personally will be to get 100 per cent out of myself and the car, every time. No mistakes. That is the life of a Formula One driver. You need to get 100 per cent out of the car, focus, concentrate and improve lap after lap. So I hope we can have a good car from the beginning of the season, some good ambitions going into the first race and just develop all season long.

Q:
What do you think of the new car?

Romain Grosjean:
From what I've seen of the new car so far, I can say that the colours are the same! We will see when get on the track. Hopefully it will be a good car and we can give it a nice nickname after the first test. Then we will try to improve it lap after lap and session after session.

Q:
It's a new tyre supplier since you last race in Formula 1 – do you expect that to make a difference?

Romain Grosjean:
I think Pirelli had a really, really good first year in Formula One. There have been some changes for 2012, and I think tyres will be key again. We need to get them working when we need, and save them when we need. Things have changed a lot since the Bridgestone era. It's part of the show today, to manage your tyres, and we have seen some big, big differences in tyre wear on some tracks which have made Formula One more attractive than a few years ago.

Q:
How is your knowledge of the circuits?

Romain Grosjean:
I don't know Albert Park, I don't know Shanghai, I don't know Canada, America nobody knows, India I don't know and Korea I don't know. So in the early stages of the season I know all the tracks except Albert Park and Shanghai. I know Sepang and Bahrain. We will see what happens.



Tagged as: Grosjean , Lotus , Romain Grosjean

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