22 February 2015
Barcelona F1 Test (1): Grosjean: Everything is going in the right direction
Romain Grosjean was in positive mood after a trouble-free day allowed him to take a turn at the head of the timesheets as Barcelona's foirst F1 test of 2015 came to a close.
Romain Grosjean continued Lotus' presence at the top of the timing sheets as the second of three scheduled F1 group tests came to an end on a blustery Sunday in Barcelona.
The Frenchman picked up from where team-mate Pastor Maldonado had left off on Saturday evening, completing 111 laps over the course of a programme of set-up evaluations and performance simulations before leaving the Circuit de Catalunya with a pace-setting mark of 1m 24.067s.
“Everything is going in the right direction,” Grosjean reported, “We have more tools to play with around the car, and more parts [to try]. It is the early stage of the year, but the more we can learn, the more we can drive, the better it is...”
Confirming Maldonado's assessment that the new E23 responds better to the driver's input, Grosjean admitted that he would like to have more time to prepare for the opening grand prix in Melbourne next month, but was confident that Lotus would be better placed to challenge for points than it was last year.
“It is what it is,” he noted, “If I had more [time to test], I would take it, but it is what it is. Driving-wise [Pastor and I] came from the same school. We both won GP2 so our driving styles have always been pretty much been similar - if he likes something, I'm usually not too far off, which is nice.
“We made some good improvements with the balance and set-up over the course of the day and it felt a lot better after we made changes for the afternoon. We completed a very promising mileage and it's always good to see your name at the top of the timing monitors, even if it is far too early to know what everyone else is doing. Things are going well and we can do the laps we want, try the things we want, so that's positive.”
Like his rivals, Grosjean was not immune to the effects of the wind rattling around the hills above Barcelona, but avoided the fate that befell Spaniards Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz, who had their sessions curtailed by accidents at turn three.
“Obviously, the conditions are very tricky, with a lot of wind,” he admitted, “Even on the straight, the car doesn't go straight, so it makes things a bit tricky. For me, it was the exit of turn four [that was the biggest problem] so I don't know what happened to Fernando - I just hope he is alright.”
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