Romain Grosjean was arguably the star of the two free practice sessions today in Monaco, with the Lotus driver coming second in both the morning and the afternoon.
Such was the pace of the Frenchman over the two 90-minute sessions today, there was strong talk of him as a potential winner of this prestigious race on Sunday.
“I think the car is suiting the track pretty well and I love Monaco, it's good to be here and it's nice to see so many fans,” he said. “The car was looking good this morning and this afternoon – we are working in a good direction. Unfortunately it was a bit wet this afternoon and we couldn't do all the programme we wanted to achieve but as we have a good baseline it shouldn't be such a big deal. Let's see what the weather will be like tomorrow and what we can achieve. I think that we are looking good in both conditions.”
Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen did not have such a good day. The Finn completed only a single installation lap in the morning session before needing his entire steering system changed. He was then only nineteenth fastest in the rain-affect afternoon session.
“It's good to be back in Monaco even if we missed some running today,” said Raikkonen. “The steering wasn't to my liking so the team changed it for me. It's something you change for Monaco and there's no way of knowing what it will be like beforehand. The car felt good in the second session, though it was obviously pretty slippery when the track was wet.
“I would have liked to have had more time in the car, but Monaco's a track I know pretty well and it hasn't changed much over the years. Let's see what happens tomorrow.”
Technical director James Allison was delighted with how the day went: “We're happy with today's performance as we came here with a certain amount of trepidation about whether our cars would be competitive,” he revealed.
“It was a disappointment to have missed the first session whilst we changed the steering setup on Kimi's car, but he's an old enough trooper to get himself up to speed on Saturday. The pace shown by Romain in both sessions was certainly encouraging. All the Monaco upgrades seem to be working well and the E20 is pretty happy around what is a very unique track.”