Romain Grosjean heads into the Italian Grand Prix rejuvenated following his first podium finish since 2013 at Spa-Francorchamps two weeks ago, and is hoping for another positive result this weekend at Monza.
The Lotus F1 Team driver revealed he has been walking around with a massive smile since the race in Belgium, and thanked the team for making it possible.
“I still have a massive smile on my face about it!” revealed Grosjean. “What a race and what a performance from everyone in the team. We have a great car in the E23 and it worked so well around Spa Francorchamps.
“Everything came together so well. I probably drove the best race of my career, but it was thanks to the hard work of everyone at Enstone that I was able to perform at the top of my ability on that day. It felt almost like a race win.”
Grosjean admits to liking the Monza circuit, which he feels has a unique atmosphere, mainly due to the hoards of the Tifosi, the enthusiastic fans of the Scuderia Ferrari team.
“I like Monza a lot because it is so distinctive,” said Grosjean. “It’s a great track that has a lot of racing history. This makes it nice for us to compete at a place where all our heroes raced too.
“There is a lot of atmosphere around the track and to race in the setting of the royal park makes for a really special ambience. Of course the Ferrari fans are a big part of it and it is really nice competing at such a legendary venue.”
Grosjean feels the nature of the Monza circuit could suit his Lotus E23 Hybrid, maybe even more so than Spa-Francorchamps did, and has not ruled out fighting for another podium finish in Italy.
“On paper, Monza should suit our car better than Spa so in theory a podium could be possible again!” said the Frenchman. “Of course, we don’t know how our performance relative to our rivals will stack up until we get there, but I’m certainly going out for the strongest result possible, as I always do.
“You need your car to be as slippery as possible and quick in a straight line, and in that regard we’ve looked pretty strong so far in 2015. Then we have to manage the tyre degradation.
“Also for us it will be tricky in the big corners like the Lesmos and the Ascari chicane because the less downforce you have then the more difficult it is to get good grip in the turns.
“It is a tough compromise but one I am sure that the team will get the best solution possible.”