Romain Grosjean concedes next weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza is likely to be a tough race for Lotus.
So far Lotus has scored just eight points this season as a result of reliability issues and a lack of competitiveness thanks in part to the Renault power unit. While the E22 has not been competitive this year, the power unit deficit is set to be more pronounced at Monza and Grosjean says it all adds up to a difficult weekend for the team.
“I think that it will be tough for us,” Grosjean said. “On paper it is not one of the races that we should do that well at. But as always we will be fighting hard and trying to get the maximum from the weekend, so that it gives us good momentum for the Singapore weekend later in September when we should be stronger and the track should suit the E22 a little better.
“We will have a one-off rear wing for Monza and the key will be to make the car as quick as possible from an aero point of view, so that we can get back some of the performance from our straight-line speed disadvantage. Then we have to manage the tyre degradation.
“Also for us it will be tricky in the big corners like the Lesmos and the Ascari chicane because the less downforce you have then the more difficult it is to get good grip in the turns. It is a tough compromise but one I am sure that the team will get the best solution possible.”
And Grosjean believes the current generation of cars will be harder to drive at Monza than their predecessors.
“Yes but this is the same for everyone. Especially without the blown diffuser it will be more challenging than last year for sure. But this is F1 and you have to meet the challenge which we will do. The reality is that we will probably have to run less all-round downforce to make up for the time we lose on the straight, but we will just have to stay positive and extract the most from the package we have in Italy.”