21 May 2012
Q&A: Romain Grosjean, Lotus
Romain Grosjean: I think Monaco is going to be a fantastic event and it is a special race for me for sure
Lotus driver Romain Grosjean reflects on Spain and looks ahead to this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix...
Romain, how do you feel after another strong result in Spain?
I think we can be quite happy with the result. Not satisfied, but happy. Both cars in the top four is good for the team and good for the championship. It's good for me as well to finish another race, and to gain some more experience at the front of the field. We have also shown ourselves to be one of the most consistent teams in the paddock, which is a very good strength. We can still improve our car and that's what everyone is working hard for.
Did you feel any pressure after missing morning practice and having to go straight into qualifying in Barcelona?
For sure, missing the third practice added a little bit of pressure for qualifying, but then what can you do? That's racing. Sometimes you have issues but it didn't cost us much in qualifying; maybe a little bit more in the race – because the set-up could have been slightly better. Not much, but slightly. I think we can learn from that, be happy about the recovery we made and feel optimistic about the future.
How difficult was it racing with a damaged front wing?
My start was okay but not fantastic. Into the first corner Sergio [Perez] was on my outside, but then he tried to open through turn two for turn three. Unfortunately I was on his left and he came into my car and I touched his rear wheels with my front wing. He had a puncture and it cost me quite a lot of downforce which we tried to recover in the pit stop, but never managed completely. It didn't help especially as we were struggling with the front tyres, so it was worse than it should have been. It was quite a lot better after the pit stop I have to say. The first stint didn't look fantastic, but then I could play with the brake balance and diff to help the car to suit me a bit better. For sure it was not a dream, but it was okay. It was good enough to keep the Mercedes of Michael [Schumacher] behind me and then go on to pass Nico [Rosberg], and also set the fastest lap so it can't have been too bad!
How do you feel heading to Monaco with a car that's we've seen has been good this year?
I think Monaco is going to be a fantastic event and it is a special race for me for sure. There are certain to be a lot of French fans, and I'm looking forward to their support. It's also a very special event in its own right, and the atmosphere is quite crazy! As a driver you have to stay calm and relaxed and try to do your job. It's a track that doesn't allow any mistakes. You have to respect it and that is the key there I think. Hopefully we can have another good result.
It's a very particular and distinct track, how do you think the E20 will perform there?
Well this is what we will discover. I think Monaco is a specialist track and it's very difficult to say if a car will suit there or not. It's bumpy on the straights and it's a very low grip track surface. All these things mean that you never know what to expect. On a more normal racetrack you know more what you are going to have. I hope we will have a pleasant surprise and that the car will suit Monaco's unique challenges. That would be nice.
How have you been finding this year – your comeback, first points, first podium. It's building and building…
It's nice, for sure. That's why we enjoy F1: for the pressure, for the bad news but sometimes the good results. It is all of these up-and downs that make it special. Honestly I enjoy the life in F1. I hope I can stay here for a while because this is where I feel quite happy professionally. I hope one day I can have my first victory, then more and then win the world title.
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