Lotus F1 driver quotes ahead of Abu Dhabi GP 2015

Lotus F1 driver quotes ahead of Abu Dhabi GP 2015

23.11.2015: ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX 27/28/29 NOV 2015 YAS MARINA

ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX
27/28/29 NOV 2015   YAS MARINA



ROMAIN GROSJEAN

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN



It’s Romain Grosjean’s final Grand Prix for Enstone for the foreseeable future. Our favourite French-Swiss - or is it Swiss-French? - gives us an insight.



Are you French-Swiss or Swiss-French?


It depends who wins during a competition, whether it’s tennis, football, skiing…
 


What are your thoughts on Yas Marina as a Grand Prix venue?


It’s a good track with very nice paddock facilities which in my opinion are amongst the best on the calendar. It’s also a very special Grand Prix given that it starts in the day and finishes under lights, which makes it incredible for the fans as they can see through our visors and watch how hard we are concentrating.


It’s also pretty good for me as I can get up a bit later on race day! The weekend is a bit unusual as it can be difficult to work on car set-up in FP1 and FP3 as conditions are not representative of those you’ll find in qualifying and the race.


This means FP2 becomes even more important for both the engineers and myself, which makes it a rather crucial session.



How are you approaching the last race of the season?


I’ll be fighting all the way. There’s no point holding back in the race or over the weekend. It’s the last time the E23s will be used in race action so I’ll be looking to give my car a good send off.


The engine will be turned up to eleven, I’ll be racing my heart out and I know all the guys and girls at Enstone want to see a great end to the season.
 


You made a great start and vault up the order in Brazil; could we see more of the same in Abu Dhabi?


Part of the reason I was able to make a great start and work through the order in the Brazilian Grand Prix was because of my mistakes in qualifying the day before. Certainly I’ll be looking to qualify well and work my way forwards in Abu Dhabi.


The Brazilian weekend was tough as there were a lot of emotions because of all the terrible events in Paris and that affected us all. Abu Dhabi is a different event and we’re all focused on a strong weekend to end the season.
 



Do you have anything special planned to mark the end of your time at Enstone?


Of course the priority over the race weekend is to score as many points as possible, but it will be quite poignant to be having my last meetings, meals, track walk and other things with the team. I’ve shared so many good and also so many character-building times through my years at Enstone so we’ll have some good laughs.


Of course, before I leave Enstone I will make a visit to the factory to see all the people I’ve worked with over so many years. I’m sure that will be an emotional day.
 


What do you have planned after the season ends?


Firstly, and most importantly, I’m looking forward to spending as much time as possible with my loved ones. Recent events really bring home how important it is to cherish life, your family and your friends. My family is very young so I’m spending some magical time with them, even if I do get more sleep sometimes when I’m on the road!


It’s important to get as much mental and physical rest as you can when the season is over and for me there’s the additional challenge that I’ll be working in a very different environment for 2016.
 


What do you know about being a CNC machine operator?


I’ve learnt quite a bit about CNC machines during my time in the factory at Enstone, but certainly I’m going to learn a whole lot more in the future!







PASTOR MALDONADO

AIMING TO END ON HIGH





There’s nothing like a strong final result of the season to leave a happy smile on a driver and keep them consoled during those cold, dark months of not being able to race, which is why Pastor Maldonado is aiming to end his season on high.



Tell us about the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix; is it an event you enjoy?


It’s always a special event and being the final race of the year makes it all the more exciting. The venue is fabulous and the facilities are the very best Formula 1 can offer. Even though the event is amongst the busiest, the ease with which everything happens makes it quite a relaxing one when you’re out of the car.


 It’s easy to get in and out of the track and the team hospitality buildings are immense. Away from the track, the people are always really welcoming, the weather is great and the place is spectacular.
 


What about the Yas Marina Circuit? Is it a track you enjoy driving?


Yes, it’s a good track to drive. The first sector at the circuit stands out with Turns 2, 3 and 4 being particularly enjoyable and the final sector is pretty eye-catching, even if you do have a lot of work to do behind the wheel at this section.


The event format is interesting because of half the practice sessions being during the day, when the race itself is in early evening. This means you have a little bit less data in race representative conditions, but we’ve been to Abu Dhabi many times so the engineers are pretty good at working out what to do.
 


How was your Brazilian Grand Prix?


We didn’t qualify where we wanted and in the race we used a different tyre strategy to help us fight back. It was a good race in the car and one where you had to be patient at the start when using the harder tyres than those around you, then push hard when you’re on softer tyres to your rivals.


 It worked well, even if it was frustrating when the other cars were on the faster Pirellis – as it must have been frustrating for them when I was the one able to attack. To get P10 after starting in P15, especially at this late stage of the season, was a positive result.



What’s your view on the incident with Marcus Eriksson at Interlagos?


There’s a saying that rubbing’s racing. In Formula 1 it sometimes feels like you get penalised for every bit of contact. I went for a gap that was there – and we all want to see overtaking in Formula 1 – and he closed the gap whilst defending his position.


I saw it as a racing incident, and on a corner like turn one in Brazil the driver on the outside will usually come off worse. We spoke after the race and all’s fine between us. I think pretty much the same would have happened if positions were reversed and he had tried the same move on me.
 


What do you have planned for the off-season?


Much as I love racing I do also love my family so I’m looking forward to spending time with them. I’ll also get some time back in Venezuela where I always enjoy spending time. You can relax more mentally over the winter months, but you always keep up your training regime. My priority is to come back to 2016 stronger than ever.



Do you think there will be any difference in being de facto the leading driver for the team in 2016?


Some teams operate with a number one and number two driver but certainly for my time at Enstone both drivers have always been given equal status and opportunity.


For sure, I’ll be the more experienced driver next year and I’ll be doing everything I can to ensure strong results are possible for myself and Jolyon in 2016.
 



- Clarisse Hoffmann,   photos Lotus F1

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/lotus-f1-driver-quotes-ahead-abu-dhabi-gp---143582.html

23.11.2015 / MaP

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