23 May 2013
Grosjean: I pushed a bit too hard
Romain Grosjean: There was nothing wrong with the car; my braking and entry speed were all wrong...
Lotus driver Romain Grosjean has apologised to his team after ending Thursday practice for the Monaco Grand Prix in the barriers.
Grosjean was third quickest in the morning session, just 0.185 seconds off the pace set by Nico Rosberg.
However this afternoon he crashed out at Ste Devote, bringing a premature end to his day, although he still finished up seventh overall, and only two tenths behind team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen in P6.
“After a great start to the day it was a real shame to end things early. I didn't have the grip I expected going into the corner, but there was nothing wrong with the car; my braking and entry speed were all wrong and I ended up hitting the barrier,” he explained.
“There was no chance to let off and go straight on into the runoff area; I was committed to the corner so that was it.”
“We have a very good car here, however,” he added, “and it gives you the confidence to push, but unfortunately I pushed a bit too hard. I'm sorry for the team and I definitely owe them all a drink for all the work that's needed before Saturday.
“The grid looks very close, but we seem in good shape and I'm eager to get back out on track and fight for the top positions.”
Lotus meanwhile has confirmed that the damage is 'easily repairable' and that Grosjean will continue with a replacement Monaco-spec front wing on Saturday.
“We had a little blip with Romain going into the wall and stopping him doing any long run evaluations in the afternoon, but Kimi completed plenty of laps so we have ample amounts of data to evaluate,” said Lotus trackside operations director, Alan Permane.
“Our pace looks good, both drivers are pretty happy with their cars and we've still got some improvements to make on both front end grip and single lap pace. There's not too much damage to Romain's car and we have plenty of spares so we're not concerned on that front. That Romain's fastest lap today was on the soft tyre illustrates his strong pace here, as there's a second or even more to come from the super soft.
“Kimi's a little further off getting the perfect set-up, but we know where the improvements should come from.”
“I was much happier at the end of today than this morning,” Raikkonen elaborated. “We spent the first session getting the steering right as it wasn't great at the beginning, then we changed a few things on the car and it felt far better. We've still got a few other areas to improve, but it was getting stronger with every run today.
“To get pole we have to make the car a bit faster overall and I have to drive a bit better, then we'll have to see what happens,” concluded the Finn.
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