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Inside Lotus, Interviews

Q&A: Romain Grosjean on Korean GP

“It’s time for some better luck”

After a weekend in Singapore where he was always on the pace – even if reliability issues were conspiring against him – Romain Grosjean looks forward to the potential for a good result in Korea…

Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1.

Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1.

How are you feeling heading to Korea?

I’m feeling pretty positive; we had a good car in Singapore and we should have a good car in Korea. Qualifying in the top three so late in the season shows that we still have good strength in our package, so if we can show comparable pace at the next few races it’ll be a real strength for us.

What do you think of the circuit?

Last year was my first time at the Korea International Circuit and it’s quite an interesting place. It wasn’t so hard to learn, although there are three quite different parts to it with the long straight in sector one, high and medium speed corners in sector two and then the street course nature of the final sector. The trickiest parts are definitely Turns 11 & 12 which are not easy to get exactly right, but overall it’s not too bad and I think the E21 should go well there.

How are you approaching the weekend?

Like any weekend, we want to achieve the best results we can. Hopefully there won’t be a repeat of any of the issues we suffered in Singapore as they didn’t make the weekend any easier. It would be nice to have some better luck and have a straightforward Friday, another good qualifying result and then a strong finish on Sunday.

Singapore must have been one of your toughest weekends of the year?

It terms of lost potential, it was a pretty hard end to the weekend when we had to retire. Friday was difficult as we didn’t get much track time, then Saturday was fantastic to qualify in third on the grid. The race was going well before we had the problem and had to retire. I certainly wasn’t happy.

What was possible in the race if you didn’t have the problem?

I think a second or third place finish was a realistic prospect. We had a good strategy pitting under the safety car and we should have finished well, but unfortunately my engine had other ideas. We lost air pressure and the team tried to fix the problem by topping it up with an additional pit stop, but unfortunately that didn’t work so we had to retire which is never what you want to happen.

What were the conclusions you could make after Singapore?

You’re never very happy after a retirement and especially when you are going for a podium. That said we have a strong car, a good team and we will keep doing our best as we have been doing for the last few races to try to get back on top as quickly as possible. I’m looking forward to hopefully some better luck in Korea.

Korea is the first of three back-to-back race combinations; how does this affect you?

The back-to-back races can be quite tiring, but equally they work pretty well logistically as we stay on a similar time zone for a couple of weeks; certainly with Korea and Japan. It’s also quite nice to be able to see some of the countries we visit with a little bit of time between the races. It’s not so nice to be away from your family of course, but it makes for an interesting end to the season with the six races so close together.

– LOTUS F1 TEAM

About lotusproactive

Lotus proActive is an e-magazine published quarterly by Lotus Engineering, covering engineering articles, industry news and articles from within Group Lotus (Cars, Engineering, Originals and Racing).

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