5 April 2015
F1 Chinese Grand Prix: Grosjean confident despite ‘hard to predict’ weekend
Romain Grosjean is looking for an early birthday present as he attempts to find his first points of the 2015 F1 season at the Chinese Grand Prix.
Romain Grosjean says he is optimistic that he and the Lotus team can open their respective world championship accounts in China, despite admitting that the switch from hot to cold makes Shanghai International Circuit a tougher opponent to figure out.
Although the now Mercedes-powered Lotus team has looked a more potent combination in 2015, neither Grosjean or team-mate Pastor Maldonado have been able to crack the top ten on raceday and, with two races already in the books, the Frenchman knows that he needs to score points – and find a bit of good fortune - sooner rather than later.
“Generally, [Malaysia] was a good weekend, with strong performance through the qualifying session,” he reflected, “However, in the race, things didn't quite work out the way we wanted, but there are still a lot of good positives we take to the next races and, when it all comes together, it's going to be very nice.”
After a largely dire 2014 campaign, Grosjean is well aware that Lotus needs to be scoring points to reflect on its new-found potential, but continues to cross Lady Luck just when he needs her most.
“My drinks system wasn't working from lap 20 onwards, so I was certainly pretty thirsty by the time I got to the end of the race!” he said of his latest misfortune, while being delayed behind Nico Hulkenberg's Force India also didn't help his forward progress, “I could have passed him, not in the first few laps of the race when his tyres were as new as mine, but later on – as we did after the first pit-stop. We didn't have 100 per cent performance from the engine, however, which made it difficult to make the overtaking manoeuvre.”
Moving on to round three in China next weekend, Grosjean admits that it is hard to know what to expect from the E23 as F1 transitions from one of the hottest rounds of the year to one of the coolest.
“[Shanghai] is quite a particular circuit, where it is not always easy to find the right set-up and the temperature can also be cold, so it's quite difficult to predict,” he noted, “You never know what to expect, except that there will be a monster traffic jam to get to the circuit!
“We've seen that China can be pretty cold and drizzly in the past, and you don't get to see the sun there too many times. The weather's the same for everyone and you're not thinking about it too much when you're in the car - you're just thinking about how to go faster – but the front is the limitation of the car, so you look to avoid understeer. I think we have a lot of tools at our disposal to try to make our car work well and I'm sure we'll have a good race.
“I scored my first F1 points at Shanghai in 2012 and scored points again in 2013, so let's hope that's a good omen. Certainly, we're better placed than when we last visited the track. It's going to be my birthday in Bahrain - I'm getting older but I should be in a good mood!”
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