3 June 2014
Grosjean: I enjoy being close to the walls in F1
Romain Grosjean is hoping to make it three point-scoring F1 races in a row as Lotus continues to improve its E22 ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix.
Having added to his 2014 points tally in Monaco, Romain Grosjean admits that he is looking forward to a repeat as F1 heads to Montreal for this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.
Two weeks on from finally opening the Lotus team's account in Spain, Grosjean again claimed four points for eighth place on the streets of the Principality, and with the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve sharing some traits with the most famous track on the schedule, is confident he can again feature in the top ten.
“I enjoy the sensation of being close to the walls,” he grinned, “Montreal is in-between a normal circuit and a street circuit. The walls are very close in some places, while other parts are similar to a European circuit. Montreal is also different from Monaco as there are some long straights and some big braking moments.
“It's a race I really like – it's my favourite circuit to race on the Xbox! – and I have very good memories from 2012 when I went from seventh on the grid to my first second place in F1. It was a really great day and it was really a strong team result as we used a one-stop strategy to get on the podium after a disappointing qualifying session the day before.”
Like Monaco, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is not a regular stop-off for many championships through the season, adding to its unpredictable nature.
“The track surface can also present challenges as we've seen in other seasons, so it will be interesting to see what the grip level is like this year,” Grosjean confirmed, “The circuit is not used for the rest of the year so the grip will change a lot, something we'll have to adapt to. That will certainly be on your mind as you take to the track for the first time over the weekend. [The Gilles Villeneuve circuit] is definitely unique and we normally bring a different downforce package for that reason, which adds another unknown factor to the weekend.”
Taking points in Monaco may add to the sense that Lotus is finally getting its E22 closer to being competitive, and Grosjean is particularly pleased with the outcome of a difficult afternoon in the Principality.
“The start of the grand prix was a nightmare because I was hit on the first lap and suffered a puncture,” he recalled, “Then I was stuck in traffic and couldn't overtake. Of course, when you have a predictable car with plenty of grip it is easy to attack, but we struggled to find a base set-up and it clearly wasn't good enough in the race.
“But anything is possible in Monaco, we didn't give up and managed to recover from 19th to eighth. We scored points and we know where to improve the car, which is still not quick enough in low speed corners.
“[High speed corners] are not a concern. The aerodynamics are stable and the power unit management is getting better, so now we are more focused on the suspension side. Last year we had a very good car in that aspect, so we'll compare the E22 with the E21 and possibly revert to some previous settings to make it better at low speed. I believe our downforce is pretty good, so it's mechanical grip we're after.
“In previous seasons, the car was good out of the box, while the E22 has required a lot of development but, even in Monaco, we improved the car, even if it didn't look like it on the timesheets.”
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