26 September 2014
F1: Grosjean ‘pumped up’ to make Suzuka difference
Romain Grosjean is looking forward to heading to his favourite F1 venue as he seeks to bolster Lotus' meagre points tally for 2014.
Romain Grosjean is determined to give Lotus something to celebrate before the end of the season, and has targeted the Japanese Grand Prix for a belated dose of points.
The Frenchman has endured something of a nightmare season since remaining with Lotus after a relatively successful 2013 season, and has scored on just two occasions – taking back-to-back eighth places in the Spanish and Monaco grands prix. Since then, it has been a mix of mishap and mechanical malady for the former GP2 Series champion, with Lotus' radical-looking E22 proving to be its worst car for many years.
Despite that, Grosjean is taking solace from an improved showing in Singapore, where he and team-mate Pastor Maldonado came with a handful of seconds of breaking into the top ten.
“Things were better for us in the [Singapore] race,” Grosjean confirmed, “Once the frustrations of qualifying were out of the way, I was able to focus on aiming for the points.
“We were on schedule to have a good fight for this outcome when the safety car came out and this lost us momentum. The soft tyres took too long to come in, which was a shame, but another finish was something positive.”
With the downforce levels at Suzuka being similar to Barcelona, Grosjean is looking forward to the Japanese round, even if he is not yet ready to put money on his chances of points.
“I would love that, but we will have to wait and see,” he conceded, “Suzuka is a track that highlights the good aspects of a chassis, but I hope that we can be in a position where we have a realistic chance of some points.
“At Suzuka, the driver can make a difference to some extent, especially through sector one, so I will be hugely pumped up to make sure we are in the best position possible to add to our points tally.”
The annual trip to Japan is a personal favourite for Grosjean, giving him added motivation for the weekend.
“Suzuka is probably my favourite track in the world - for many, many reasons,” he enthused, “Of course, last year holds a great memory as I led the race for a while, but mainly I love it so much because the track is a massive challenge. There is not a single corner on the track that is not a big challenge so, when you finish a lap at Suzuka, you really appreciate it because you know both the car and you have been really tested. You can be proud if you have got the maximum from everything.
“It is the kind of track that you find time and improvements, however small, all of the time. It is a very special race track in this respect. Sector one is unbelievable and after you have finished it you can breathe a little bit…but not for long. There is no margin for error with very little run-off area and the track is quite narrow, especially at the top of the hill. I love it. The Spoon Curve is especially fantastic, a real thrill to drive in an F1 car, but every metre of the Suzuka track is special and every metre a challenge.”
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