After a troublesome 2014, Romain Grosjean arrives in Melbourne for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix with a point to prove and a reputation to restore after finishing in the points just twice last season.
Frenchman Grosjean continues with the Lotus F1 Team for a fourth consecutive season, and is looking forward to getting started this season.
“I am ready,” exclaims Grosjean. “On the one hand it seems like it was ages since the last race in Abu Dhabi, on the other, it seems like we’ve only just seen the new car and pre-season testing finished so quickly!”
Despite his troubles of 2014, when he qualified on the back row of the grid in Australia, he still rates the Albert Park track amongst his personal favourite tracks.
“Albert Park is still one of my favourite Grand Prix circuits, so it will be good to get there and get the season started and there’s always a great atmosphere,” said Grosjean.
“It’s a fantastic track and the changing scenery as you drive through the park is incredible. Of course it’s a great country and I always enjoy visiting Australia, although as someone who loves their sleep, I still haven’t found the perfect strategy to counter jet-lag!
“We know it can be a tricky circuit; it’s not a permanent track so the surface and its layout gives us plenty to think about.”
Grosjean spoke about his early feelings about the Lotus E23 Hybrid, and knows there is still work to be done to find the car’s sweet spot. He feels positive that the Mercedes-powered machine will be much better than last year’s nightmare-handling E22.
“We’re still quite early in our understanding of the E23 and how it works so we’ll be kept busy finding the correct set-up and getting everything working as we want it to,” revealed Grosjean.
“You can say that everyone will be in the same position of not knowing what to expect, and with all the car changes I imagine there will be a few surprises! For us the weekend will be maximising the time on track, aiming to finish the race and getting the best result possible.
“This time last year we were nowhere, so this year is particularly positive. For sure, we still have work to do and our car’s not perfect, but we have a great platform from which to build and I’m sure we’ll have lots of good developments to come with the E23.”
After scoring just eight points in 2014, Grosjean is eager to prove to the world his talent once more the talent that took him to multiple podium finishes in the two previous seasons and was Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing’s main opposition in 2013.
“This season will be very much about reminding people how good Lotus F1 Team and Romain Grosjean can be,” said the Frenchman. “People have very short memories in Formula 1 and it’s true we had a tough fight for results in 2014 so some people have forgotten the performance we showed in 2013 and 2012. We have a lot more potential for strong results this season so we’ll be pushing to show that at every race, and what better a place or time than at Albert Park?
“I’ve had a great winter where I’ve been able to spend time with my wife and son. I’ve done plenty of training. I’ve been at the factory and I’ve been out in the new car so everything’s been going well in the pre-season build-up. I head to Australia very eager to jump in the car and get out on track.”