Category Archives: Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Albert Park, 2014

Grosjean eager for more testing

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Albert Park, 2014Romain Grosjean says Lotus need more testing time to get on top of the problems they are having with the E22.

“Every time we go testing we seem to have problems and this situation hasn’t helped us,” said Grosjean, who had to cut his day of testing short after suffering power unit problems this week.

“Luckily in the races it’s been better and we have gained knowledge from a performance point of view. But I do wish we had more testing as we’re currently playing catch-up.

“When you’re struggling a bit, all this new technology means it’s hard to get the reliability. We haven’t been very lucky with testing so far.”

Grosjean said the team didn’t get anywhere near completing its work plan for the two-day Bahrain test.

“Unfortunately we struggled with the power unit and couldn’t manage many laps. We did some aero work but compared to the programme we had planned it was far too little.

“We want to work but if the car won’t run cleanly there is not much we can do. We have to keep pushing and be motivated to learn what we can, when we can.”

Lotus are bringing several aerodynamic updates for the car this weekend. “We have lots of parts for the car which should make it faster, but we need reliability to be able to test these,” said Grosjean.

“So far, when we’ve finished it’s been just outside the points. If we can get a little bit more performance and reliability, we’ll be finishing in the points.

“We can build a strong season from this point on and everyone is concentrating on this goal.”

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Sepang International Circuit, 2014

Lotus pleased with “big step forwards”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Sepang International Circuit, 2014Lotus hailed the progress they have made with their car after reaching the chequered flag for the first time this season in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Romain Grosjean finished 11th, holding off Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari which had been delayed earlier in the race.

“Today was a big step forwards from Melbourne, and every time we run the car we can see we are making progress,” said trackside operations director Alan Permane.

“Romain had a decent race, getting the car to the finish and giving us plenty of valuable data and feedback to enable us to deliver improved performance.

“He suffered from some damage to his diffuser on lap 48 and subsequently was losing around a second and a half in terms of performance per lap. This considered, he did a very good job indeed to stay in front of Kimi.”

Grosjean said he felt a “big loss of downforce around eight laps to the end” when the diffuser failed, but was pleased to keep his old team mate behind.

“Without that issue, I’m sure we could have finished higher. It’s good to be back and close to the points so it’s a positive for all of us.

“It was a good battle at the end. I kept remembering our past battles to make sure Kimi couldn’t go through.”

Pastor Maldonado’s car was retired to prevent damage to his engine, according to Permane:

“Pastor had a problem with the intake to the turbo, which was evident from the start of his race. Unfortunately, as well as limiting performance it was potentially damaging to the engine so we had to make the difficult decision to retire him.”

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Albert Park, 2014

Grosjean ‘only driving at 30 per cent’

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Albert Park, 2014Romain Grosjean says he had to drive well within his abilities at the first race of the season in Australia.

“It is not quite as pleasant as before to be honest,” he said of the new cars. “There is a lot of energy recovery to deal with and optimise.”

“You cannot drive most of the grand prix at 90 per cent as before, sometimes now it is only 30 per cent. We just have to get used to it.

“When you win you love it and when you retire, you don’t. At the moment it feels a little frustrating as a driver but these are the rules, we will adapt and make the best of them.”

Both Lotus drivers retired during the Australian Grand Prix after several problems during practice. Grosjean said the team “still have a lot of work to do” but they gained a lot of information about the car on Sunday, when it ran for longer than it had in testing.

“We learned more about the car in 44 racing laps than during the whole of winter testing,” he said. “The team has done so much work and each of the changes have been in the right direction.”

“It was looking good in the race and then we had the same problem as Pastor [Maldonado]: the MGU-K shaft. But at least there is no mystery about what happened and we are working with Renault Sport F1 to solve the problem.”

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Buddh International Circuit, 2013

Grosjean’s engine problem was same as in Singapore

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Buddh International Circuit, 2013Lotus have confirmed the engine problem Romain Grosjean experienced at the end of the Indian Grand Prix was related to the one which caused his retirement in Singapore.

Grosjean was told to short-shift his gear changes and said afterwards he was having to look after his engine during the final laps of Sunday’s race.

Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane said the team are working with engine supplier Renault to get to the bottom of the problem.

“The issue seems to be a repeat of the one we faced in Singapore where a leak in the pneumatic system caused a loss of air pressure. Fortunately, we know exactly what we have to do to fix it and Romain?s engine has gone through the correction process put in place after Singapore.

“Our engine partners are also checking ?ǣ and double checking – every single race engine at Abu Dhabi to ensure that the same problem does not reappear.”

Grosjean finished third in India despite his engine problem. He and team mate Kimi Raikkonen still have one unused engine remaining from their original allocation of eight units for the season.

2013 Indian Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Buddh International Circuit, 2013

Grosjean “wouldn’t have bet” on podium finish

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Buddh International Circuit, 2013Romain Grosjean said he didn’t believe he had any chance of finishing on the podium after starting 17th on the grid for today’s Indian Grand Prix.

Asked if he thought it was possible Grosjean said: “Not at all. I wouldn’t have bet a penny on me being on the podium today.”

“But the car came back as it was on Friday,” he added. “I think the race pace was really there. We did a very brave strategy, as we did yesterday, I think it was not the time to go safe. And it paid off, we’re back on the podium, it’s quite amazing from where we started.

“I tried to go through the field and it was tough until the end, I didn’t know when the tyres were going to go off. The team did fantastic and very proud to be here.”

Grosjean caught team mate Kimi Raikkonen who was struggling with his tyres in the closing stages of the race. This led to a heated exchange on the team radio as Raikkonen defended his position from his team mate, even forcing him wide at turn four.

The team’s trackside operations director Alan Permane told Raikkonen to “get out of the ******* way”. Raikkonen responded with similar language, adding he would yield the position “when I have the chance but not in the fast corners”.

Grosjean said his team mate “was in a difficult situation”.

“I knew I had to be careful to my engine. I knew Massa had much fresher tyres behind, so I didn’t want to lose time and I lost a little bit of time.

“But never mind. The good point is we are in the podium, we score good points for the team and we still have a very strong car for the upcoming races.”

2013 Indian Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Buddh International Circuit, 2013

Grosjean: We underestimated rivals’ speed

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Buddh International Circuit, 2013Romain Grosjean says he was knocked out in Q1 because the team underestimated how quickly their rivals’ lap times would improve.

Grosjean did not use the soft tyre in the Q1 as the team believed he could go quick enough on the medium tyre to get through to Q2. But he missed the cut by four tenths of a second and will start 17th.

“We took a gamble once again to try just one run on the [medium] tyres in Q1,” said Grosjean, “and although it?s been a successful tactic for us recently it didn?t pay off this time.”

“The times were much tighter than expected and ultimately we made a miscalculation with the cut-off time. It?s easy to look back and think what might have been, but we made the decision together and unfortunately in the end it was the wrong one.”

Grosjean doubts he will be able to achieve a good result from the ninth row in the race.

“It?s tough to overtake here so it?s going to be a long race from 17th on the grid. We?ll have to pull off something quite special with the strategy to take anything from there, but of course we?ll analyse the options overnight to see what?s possible.

“For sure we won?t be leading after the first corner this time, but we?ll do our best.”

2013 Indian Grand Prix

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Eric Boullier, Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Suzuka, 2013

Boullier expects to confirm Grosjean deal “soon”

Eric Boullier, Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Suzuka, 2013Romain Grosjean is set to remain at Lotus for a third season as team principal Eric Boullier said he is close to confirming his deal for next year.

“Romain has a contract signed anyway for next year,” said Boullier. “It?s just, say, a matter of confirmation. We are being prudent after last obviously. But I think it?s on its way to be confirmed soon.”

Boullier said the team were “definitely pleased with his performance, since Germany actually”.

“Clearly, something switched on and he is working better. I mean the same tyre story as well, the latest spec of tyres suit a little bit more his driving style than [Kimi Raikkonen's] one.

“But yes, we are pleased that he is stepping up. We don?t have a policy of driver number one and number two but we needed him obviously to step up, yes.”

Boullier added he hopes to have the identity of Grosjean’s team mate confirmed within “a few days”. Last year’s GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi is the team’s reserve driver but Boullier said he preferred to put an experienced driver in the seat.

“Davide is on the list but to bring to the grid next year a driver with no experience is a huge step for them – I?ve done it twice with them, first with [Vitaly] Petrov and then with a semi-rookie Grosjean and I think I?ve had enough to be honest with you.

“Davide is on the list because we consider him as a good driver, as a GP2 champion but it?s true that if you favour a scenario for next year it will be a driver with experience. If we cannot find any driver with experience, fitting the strategy of the team, obviously we will go for a rookie driver and then Davide is obviously on the top of the list. It looks harsh, I?m sorry but it?s true.”

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Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Korea International Circuit, 2013

No team orders at Lotus in Korea, says Boullier

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Korea International Circuit, 2013Lotus said they allowed Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean to race for position during the Korean Grand Prix and did not impose team orders.

Team principal Eric Boullier said Grosjean wanted the team to instruct Raikkonen to let him past after being passed by his team mate on lap 38.

Several radio messages between Grosjean, race engineer Ayao Komatsu and Boullier were played during the race.

“You have to remember that the television feed only takes certain edits from radio transmissions between the driver and the pit wall,” said Boullier.

“We had Romain asking for Kimi to let him by as he felt he was faster, but we wanted to leave the drivers to determine their positions by racing on track which is why we were telling Romain to race Kimi.

“As we know, Kimi doesn?t want to talk too much to the pit wall and doesn?t need words of encouragement; he knows what he?s doing and we saw that once more in Korea.”

Boullier eventually told Grosjean on the radio to “keep racing like it is”.

The team has previously ordered Grosjean to let Raikkonen past at Silverstone and the Nurburgring this year. “The team?s philosophy is always to let us race unless we?re on very different strategies where one driver could hold up the other,” said Grosjean, “and this is the right approach”.

“Obviously we?re both competitive, but our racing has always been fair. I made a mistake in Korea which is why he got past, but this is not something I want to happen again.”

2013 Korean Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Korea International Circuit, 2013

Boullier: Grosjean just “frustrated” despite radio row

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Korea International Circuit, 2013Lotus team principal Eric Boullier says a frustrated Romain Grosjean learned an important lesson after losing second place to Kimi Raikkonen in today’s race.

Raikkonen passed Grosjean for second place on the lap after the first restart. Boullier said Grosjean made a mistake, after which the Lotus driver repeatedly told the team Raikkonen was holding him up.

Boullier came on Grosjean’s radio at one point and told him to “keep racing like it is”.

After the race in another radio message from a different team member which was partially censored Grosjean was told: “We’ll talk about this in the office afterwards but for now big ******* smile on the podium, big ******* smile.”

Boullier said: “Romain gets frustrated obviously because he did a small mistake on the restart after the Safety car and Kimi just passed him.”

“I think he was begging some team orders to let him past but he has a mistake and it was a normal racing time.”

“I think he could have been quicker but he was a little upset and he lost concentration so it’s just part of his learning curve,” Boullier added.

2013 Korean Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Korea International Circuit, 2013

Lotus praise Grosjean’s “textbook performance”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Korea International Circuit, 2013Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane praised a “textbook performance” by Romain Grosjean to take third on the grid for the Korean Grand Prix.

Grosjean took the risk of not using the super-soft tyres in Q1 in order to save an extra set for Q3. He set fourth-fastest time which became third on the grid after Webber’s penalty.

“We?re very happy with Romain?s qualifying position after a textbook performance through all three sessions with everything going absolutely to plan,” said Permane.

“He soaked up the extra pressure to get through the first session using only the medium compound tyre and the benefit of doing that was having two sets of the super soft in the final session.”

Grosjean said: “Our aim was to be up there fighting with the Mercedes today and that?s exactly where we were.”

“The Red Bulls were always going to be quick, so to be reasonably close to them in terms of the times is not too bad. Gaining a place on the grid just because another driver has been penalised is not how you want to move forwards, but I?ve had to cope with it before myself and it?s part of the sport.”

“Of course, it will be an advantage for us as it means we?ll start on the clean side of the track.”

2013 Korean Grand Prix

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