Romain Grosjean: We know what we want, so we're all looking to start the season with a clear direction
Lotus' Romain Grosjean has said he and the Lotus team are starting 2013 with 'a clear direction' after a 2012 which contained some 'highs and lows' for both him and the team.
Last season saw Grosjean compete at the front of the grid, but also incur a one race ban – the first since 1994 - for causing a multi-car accident at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix as well as several other similar incidents.
Speaking ahead of next week's season opener in Melbourne, he remarked that having a year's experience puts him in a better position for this year.
“I feel much more comfortable as I approach the 2013 season,” he admitted. “Last year there were some highs and some lows, so the idea now is to keep up the performance that I'm able to show and bring some consistency which needs to be there every time I obviously have much more experience than I did heading into last year and I'm looking forward to the whole season.
“I will try to put all the work I have been doing together with the team and turn that into good performances on track.”
He also commented that continuing with the team for a second successive season, as well as Lotus' transparent method of working is a great advantage from a driver's perspective.
“I think consecutive seasons in any category is good from two points of view,” he said. “The first is with the driving itself; you're restarting a season so you know the circuits, you know the cars, how a race weekend works and what you should and shouldn't do. Then, there is the continuity with the team, which is another point and one that's quite important as well.
“As we go to Melbourne we'll know the set up we used from last year and we can work from there. All our engineers are the same and the way we approach the data is familiar. From this standpoint we can really work well and keep everything we've been learning together.
“During testing I also had to the chance to run with Kimi's engineers which was very good. We are a team and we're working together; there's nothing that is hidden or not shared between us.”
Despite Lotus showing well in the pre-season tests, Grosjean – like his rivals - refused to be drawn into making any conclusions about Lotus' performance in comparison to its competitors. However, he did admit that the 2013 car has built on last year's impressive E20, which won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the hands of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
“The key people here know how to create a good car and over the last four years the team has been picking up momentum,” he said.
“It [the E21] is a good continuation of the E20 and definitely a step forward; the team have been working hard and are doing their best to give us a good car. We looked quick during winter testing but it's always different to race weekends, so let's see what the first race brings us, but I really have no answer [about the car's performance] until we get to qualifying in Melbourne.”
By George East