Exclusive interview to Romain Grosjean

Wed, 9 May 2012, 10:31

Romain, what did you test in Mugello?
“We tested plenty of things that we wanted to test since the first race but we didn’t have the chance to do it. Here we could do it, even if it takes some time to do what we want.
I think there are a few interesting things that we can put for Barcelona and the next races of the season, to improve our performance.”

The development process is going to be crucial, what else is to come on the car?
“That’s going to be clearly crucial, the development is going to be the key this year. We saw in China eleven cars in three tenth. If you gain one tenth by developing the car, it’s already maybe five places. We’re trying to get everything we can from the car, there will be some updates coming and that’s nice.”

Which are the other areas that you can still exploit?
“There still are areas where we can improve. We are working very hard at the factory and on track everybody is pushing very hard to get the best out of the E20. For sure we are maybe missing a big break in the slow corners to be more competitive in the championship, but for sure it’s always good to have a car which is able to fight at the front again.”

You probably weren’t thinking about winning races before your first podium in Bahrain, are you now?
“When you start a carreer in Formula One, first you think about points, then maybe the top 5 and then a podium, a win and a championship. I got the points, then the podium and the top 5 at the same time! I think you have to be
realistic: if we have the car to win the race, for sure we’ll go for the win; if it’s not the case, then you have to take what you can and score as many points you can, for the team and for the championship.”

Some people said Lotus could have won in Bahrain wasn’t for some strategy mistakes. Do you think your team has learned something from that race?
“Strategy mistakes? I don’t know where you see that. We finished second with Kimi and third with me, starting seventh. Where is the mistake? Sebastian started from pole position, he had a fantastic pace, but we had as well. We have to go better in qualifying and then we can fight for a win.”

Somebody said you were less aggressive that you might have been…
“Everybody was conservative due to what happened in Shanghai and if we had pitted earlier, Sebastian would have done that too and it would have been the same.”

This year we have seen very different results from one race to another. Is there any path you recognize or are you having the same difficulties in forecasting performances?
“We are focused on our team, trying to get the best. On the race pace we have a very good car and we have been always quite at the front. There are areas where we can improve and we are trying to do that…”

Which ones?
“It’s a secret! Anyway, I think Sakhir was maybe the most realistic track for what regards the temperatures that we may get in spring and summer. It will be different from Shanghai, where it was very cold, or from Sepang where it rained.”

So it’s looking good for you.
“You never know, but it seems that E20 is working better when it’s hot than when it’s cold.”

What are you learning from an experienced driver like Kimi?
“Everything. We can always learn during all our carreer. The time of running into a Formula One car is quite short and the more you drive, the more you learn. My team mate is for sure a good help and a good baseline for me to improve myself.”

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