Having been forced to watch last year's Italian Grand Prix
from the sidelines, Romain Grosjean
is understandably eager to get on track at Monza next weekend.
Twelve months ago, the Frenchman was 'parked' by the FIA following his part in the first corner pile-up at Spa-Francorchamps, and had to watch as Lotus reserve Jerome d'Ambrosio partnered Kimi Raikkonen
for the weekend. The Belgian incident did little to help Grosjean's reputation as a driver but, adopting a more cautious approach and a Suzuka brush with Mark Webber
aside, he subsequently earned himself another season at Enstone – and a chance to set the Monza record straight.
“I'm looking forward to it very much,” he admitted, “It's a race I wasn't allowed to contest last season and, as a racing driver, all you want to do is race, so I can't wait to take to the track for the first time in practice on Friday morning. I was on the podium last time I raced at Monza, which was in the GP2 Series in 2011. That's what we're trying for [this year], of course, so let's see what happens.”
With a Lotus that wasn't suited to the Spa layout last weekend, Grosjean was limited to eighth in the race, and admits that he's not sure what to expect in Italy, despite the team's assertions that the long wheelbase version of the E21 should be a more competitive prospect.
“At Spa, considering where we were in the first half of the race, we had to attempt something a bit different as raw pace wasn't our strong point,” the Frenchman confirmed, “Then, with the new tyres, I felt that the grip was much higher than before, but I knew that it would be difficult to get the time back. We tried something different and you never know; had it rained in the middle of the race we could have been well-placed to take advantage.
“For Monza, we won't know what we will do until we've run in the practice sessions, checked all the data and then, after qualifying – when we know our grid position – we'll decide the options for strategy. Even then it's not decided, as you have to adapt in the race. Let's see what happens.
“It can be quite hot there sometimes and it can be hard on the tyres. Considering that this is where we seem to have an advantage with our car, let's hope for both!
“Spa was the third Grand Prix in a row that I've been in the points which is good for the championship. There are races where we are fast and everything goes well like in Germany, then there are races when it isn't as easy like in Spa, so to be still scoring points when things are a little more tricky is positive. Let's hope Monza is positive.”