Grosjean: I’ve been my own worst enemy at times this season
22 October, 2012
Oct.22 (Lotus) After a relatively uneventful and subdued Korean Grand Prix, Lotus driver Romain Grosjean looks forward to India – another venue where he has never raced before. – He is targeting a solid points finish.
You’ve been to the Buddh International Circuit before but not yet driven it; what are your thoughts on the track?
Romain Grosjean: I was at the circuit with the team last year in my role as third driver and it was fascinating to see F1 come to a new venue like India. The track is very impressive, in the middle of what will be a massive facility. The layout looks very interesting, with some slow corners and high speed sections as well. I’m sure it will be a great track to drive and I’m looking forward to unlocking its secrets so it can go into my portfolio!
You seem to learn circuits pretty quickly; how do you achieve this?
RG: There have been quite a few new tracks for me to learn this year and I am lucky as I usually pick them up very quickly. Hopefully it’ll be the case again in India so we’ll have time early in the weekend to work on the set up for qualifying and the race. With all the data we have today we know more about what we need to do in the corners; things like what brake pressure to use on approach, how much throttle to use on exit, how much speed you can carry through the mid-phase of the corner…all this can be looked at with your engineer in advance. In a way it’s easy when you know to use exactly 80 bar of pressure on the brakes or 80% of lift on the throttle for example. You take this information with you on a lap and you know how the car should behave. Of course you find the limit as you push more and more – there are always one or two corners that are more tricky – but normally the majority of the track is actually quite easy.
How difficult is it translating the telemetry and feedback into quicker lap times?
RG: When you’re experienced with your engineer then you know what to do if they tell you 2km/h quicker or a little less lift in this corner for example. From there feeling takes over the rest so you have to sense where to go a little quicker.
Inevitably there were a lot of eyes on you in Korea and you were put under pressure a few times on track; how was it from your perspective?
RG: For sure I was a bit nervous starting the race as there was quite a lot of pressure. Myself and the team did a lot of work trying to understand a few things and it’s certainly helped. It wasn’t the easiest start; there was contact behind me at turn three and I took evasive action but after that it was quite a straight forward race and I could push how I wanted. I’ve been my own worst enemy at times this season, but hopefully now we can put it behind us and move forwards.
You finished the race where you started in Korea, but do you think more was possible?
RG: Maybe we could have achieved one place better. It was frustrating being stuck behind Nico [Hulkenberg] for so long as we were clearly faster, but when I finally got the chance to pass I ended up losing two places as Lewis [Hamilton] joined the battle. We lacked a little bit of power exiting the corners compared with them so there was not a lot I could do. I think I now know every detail of Force India’s car after spending so much time fighting with it! Even so, I was happy to make it to the chequered flag after a good, clean race.
Subbed by AJN.