Romain Grosjean, the Manama Man

Romain Grosjean, the Manama Man

14.04.2015: BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX at Sakhir Circuit, Manama 17/18/19 APRIL 2015 Romain Grosjean opened Lotus F1 Teamís points account

BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX at Sakhir Circuit, Manama
17/18/19 APRIL 2015




Romain Grosjean opened Lotus F1 Team’s points account in the Chinese Grand Prix, now he’s eager to cash-in on the early season pace and compound his opening deposit with another strong haul in a place he’s scored well in the past.



What are your thoughts looking ahead to Bahrain?


It’s a good track and I’m happy to go back there. I’m especially looking forward to being able to race in Bahrain at night with a fast and reliable car. It’s a really fun circuit and one I enjoy racing at.


Two of the three times I’ve raced at the Bahrain International Circuit in Formula 1 I’ve been on the podium. It’s a good record and of course I’ll be pushing as hard as possible for the best result to get more points for myself and the team in 2015.
 


What do you like about the Bahrain track?


On paper it is not the most amazing circuit, but when you drive it’s pretty cool. I like the long straights followed by the hairpins and then the twisty middle section with a lot of G-force which makes it exciting.


 It gives the driver plenty to do behind the wheel and it gives you quite a lot to do in the debrief as well. It’s always rewarding when you balance all the different demands on the car to get the lap as fast as possible.



How much more are you enjoying racing the current generation Formula 1 car? You weren’t their greatest fan this time last year…


Obviously it makes a difference having a good car under you! It’s true I wasn’t the happiest driver when the change was made from the previous generation of cars to the V6 turbo hybrids, and I have a suspicion that it wasn’t too much of a secret that last year’s car wasn’t my favourite either!


This year I’m far happier as all you want is to be able to deliver to your maximum on track and that’s a lot easier with our current package.
 


How much of a difference it is having Bahrain as a night race?


It means a later start, and the later schedule means a larger window for sleep which is always welcome! In terms of at the track, the daytime hot temperatures with a lot of sun made tyre degradation quite high. Temperatures are clearly lower at night which has an influence on tyre grip and degradation.


 Last time it was certainly an exciting event visually and I think people enjoyed it as a viewing experience on television as well as at the track where there was something more of a party feeling with the crowds.
 


Why has Bahrain been so kind to you in the past?


I wouldn’t say it’s been exactly kind, but certainly we’ve been able to perform well there in the past. 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.


With the E20 and E21 we were able to take advantage of the car’s good balance and kindness to tyres. Obviously we had much more of – shall we say – a challenge with the E22, but the E23 is definitely a massive step back to where we want to be, so we’re very hopeful.
 


How frustrated are you when you have to miss a session?


As a Formula 1 driver you want to be in the car at every opportunity so of course I’m frustrated when I’m not in the car. Because testing opportunities are so limited I understand that sometimes you have to give up your car – after all I was given an opportunity through FP1 myself – but that doesn’t make it any easier standing in the garage when the session is live and you want to be in the car. I can’t wait for FP2 to start!
 


As someone with banking experience, what would be your growth predictions for yourself and the team over the course of the season ahead?


We’ve made our first deposit in our points account and I expect this to grow strongly through the season. I’m expecting some more good scoring in Bahrain and regular deposits to be a characteristic through the season. We were the fourth fastest car in China so fourth position in the Constructors’ Championship has to be the target.


It’s a long season, but we’ll keep pushing. We’re only just coming into our stride with the new Mercedes power unit so there’s a lot of potential ahead. I think we’re a very good investment as a team.
 

- Clarisse Hoffmann, photo Lotus

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14.04.2015 / MaP

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