Inaugural GP2 Asia Series champion Romain Grosjean has baulked at suggestions that he will now be the man to beat when the category's summer series kicks off in Barcelona in three weeks' time.

The Frenchman clinched the Asia Series title despite retiring from the sprint race in Bahrain on Sunday and, despite there being two further races to run in Dubai before the summer series starts, will now switch his sights to being fully prepared for Spain. However, he refuses to accept that his latest triumph makes him a favourite for further success.

"I will cautiously answer that this will not be the case," the reigning F3 Euroseries champion insisted, "Our first task is to develop the new car. This will be our main focus at the beginning of the season. Plus, there will be some extremely competitive and experienced drivers with us in the GP2 Series - on top of people like Senna, Valles, Petrov or Chandhok.

"Many of them can win the title. It will be a different environment - once again, I will be a rookie with a lot to learn, starting with the tracks! With the Asia Series, I gained valuable experience, but I'm still learning, [so] I think I'm more of an outsider. Zuber, Maldonado, my team-mate Filippi or Pantano for example, these are men to beat. They have the experience. I'm just here to spice things up a little for them."

Grosjean admits that it was disappointing to claim the Asia Series title while sitting in the pits, and hopes to bow out in style in Dubai this weekend.

"I feel good, but weird too because we won in the strangest way," he revealed, "You always prefer to win a title with a victory but, still, it enhances our motivation and confidence for the main GP2 Series, which will start in a few weeks.

"I took the lead after one lap and pulled away but, then, I lost the brakes at the back. All of a sudden, the wheels were blocked. I tried to stay on track as long as possible, but it became too dangerous and I had to retire. It's a real shame because I was so close to having the perfect weekend and scoring 20 points. However, the GP2 Asia Series is not over and we will work hard in order to finish it with a win in Dubai this week and get prepared for the next championship."

The Frenchman pointed to his continuing relationship with the ART Grand Prix team as a vital factor in his success as a GP2 rookie, and admitted that it was a big thing to have won the title in front of the F1 teams.

"Of course, since F1 is my dream and my goal, it was important to show that I'm competitive," the Renault test driver commented, "I proved that I can be fast and ready to fight in any circumstances, and our next step is to develop the new GP2/08 car in order to try and get as good results with it as with the old car.

"I entered the competition a rookie, but I expected to be at this level of performance. I know that it surprised a lot of people, but my opinion is that this car is perfect for me. I always said that the GP2 Asia Championship was the best way for me to learn more about the series and gain some experience.

"I'm lucky to be part of a team that I know quite well from F3 Euroseries - I know how they work and it helped me a lot, starting from the very first race. My engineer and I work closely together and we understand each other. I always knew that I was at the wheel of a perfectly-balanced car and all I had to do was concentrate on my driving. When I have a good feeling with a car, I feel really strong and I take risks."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...