19 February 2014
Bahrain F1 test 1: Lotus issues only small, says Grosjean
Romain Grosjean: It was not as many laps as we would have loved to do, but it was good to be back in the car and do a few laps - and see how it is and just enjoy the time.
Lotus driver Romain Grosjean managed only eight laps on Wednesday during the opening day of F1 2014 pre-season testing in Bahrain, but despite that he said the issues were not 'major' nor particularly 'unexpected'.
Lotus sat out the test at Jerez last month, and as such, the outing at the Bahrain International Circuit marked the cars public debut.
However, while the team managed over 20 laps during the filming day at Jerez, it was not so positive in Sakhir.
“It was not as many laps as we would have loved to do,” Grosjean told reporters in Bahrain, including Crash.net, “but it was good to be back in the car and do a few laps - and see how it is and just enjoy the time. I am happy to be here. It was the first day. We had some small issues but not major. We are just trying to work hard and get things together.”
“[Of course] it will be important to get some mileage [in],” he added, “for the car, for the drivers and for everyone to get back into it. But there is nothing you can do other than try and work hard and solve the issues. It is no use panicking. You just have to wait and trust we can fix the small issues we have. We have to understand them. That is the first thing to do and then fix them and run.”
Pressed on what the 'small issues' were, Grosjean was initially diplomatic, before confirming it was a problem on the Renault side, as opposed to Lotus'.
“Yeah, it is on the Renault side,” he confirmed. “I think there are so many things going on in the rear end of the car. We do not understand everything [yet]. But I think it was related to the engine or batteries or stuff like that – nothing too crazy. We need to understand it and then hopefully get a better solution for tomorrow and the day after."
“I just go out on track and when it feels wrong I radio [in]," he continued. "It is nothing unexpected – let's put it that way. We are just trying to solve it tonight now.”
“I don't think we are going to do much set-up work here," he admitted. "It is more trying to understand everything. If we have four full days that would be better than three and three would be better than two and so on. But it is what it is. We have a car and we know with all these changes we could have some issues. We will have three practice sessions in Melbourne [if necessary] to put it on the right foot and start from there.”
So what can we expect from Grosjean in 2014?
“It all depends on the car. I had a very good end to 2013 and was one of the best. But, as I said, it is related to the car. I trust Enstone to give us a good car and Renault to give us a good engine and good fuel management. However, there are a lot of things we have to think about this year. There is a lot of buttons to turn and change, plus there is more gears as well.
"I don't think I have learned massively today. But hopefully we can get in more testing before we head off to Melbourne [for the season opener],” he concluded.
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