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Romain Grosjean, Lotus - Q&A

18 April 2013

Q:
What are your feelings heading to Bahrain?

Romain Grosjean:
I have good memories after a strong race there last year that's for sure! Our car worked well and we seemed to like the heat so it's a race I'm looking forward to it. We should see some consistent weather too, which always helps when you are trying to set up the car for the weekend.

Q:
Finding the right setup and getting the car exactly as you want it seems to be quite a challenge at the moment?

Romain Grosjean:
I would be lying if I said the car is exactly where I want it and we are having quite an adventure to get the setup and feeling from the car how we want it. This is very frustrating for a driver, as you want your car to be obedient – to do what you want it to do – and to do it in a consistent manner. Certainly, we're not the only team who are having a difficult time early in the season, but it's something we really want to get on top of as quickly as possible. I'm spending a lot of time with my engineers and we're all working hard to make improvements.

Q:
What worked so well for you in Bahrain last year?

Romain Grosjean:
It's a track I knew from before Formula 1 and it has characteristics that I like in a circuit; some big braking into certain corners, some good change of direction with the double-left in the middle of the racetrack and it all flows quite nicely. Last year we got a good balance with the car and were able to make use of the E20 being kind to its tyres. The E21 shares that characteristic, so let's hope we have more of the same this year.

Q:
How did it feel to get your first podium here twelve months ago?

Romain Grosjean:
It's was a great feeling to get my first podium, and a really proud day for the whole team who did an incredible job. I think we got everything right that weekend.

Q:
It's fair to say that your weekend in China wasn't exactly what you wanted?

Romain Grosjean:
I wasn't happy with ninth place, but at least it was points finish. It was a long, tough race and again we not able to make it work quite as well as we wanted. We started sixth on the grid and I thought we had a good chance to end up within the top five, but unfortunately we could not manage it.

Q:
Where do you think your race unravelled?

Romain Grosjean:
We struggled all weekend to get the balance right. It felt a lot better in qualifying but in the race I just couldn't find the performance. I made a good start, climbed a few places and was sitting close behind Kimi for a short while, but then the tyres just fell off the cliff and I dropped right back. As the race went on I ended up getting stuck in traffic which obviously didn't help, but I still have some work to do to try and find more from the car.

Q:
What's the target this weekend?

Romain Grosjean:
The priority is to find that connection with the car. I want to be right up there fighting for podiums and showing the speed I showed last year. Hopefully we'll get there soon, and I think Bahrain would be the ideal place to really start getting some good points or even a return to the podium. We've been quick there before, so there's no reason why we can't do it again.


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