Romain Grosjean looks to Silverstone for redemption.
After two race weekends with meagre points pickings, our Finn is eager to get his championship challenge back on track at Silverstone
Your championship potential has taken something of a hit in the last two races; is this a big concern? Obviously, it’s not been that great and we haven’t got the results we wanted.
That said, Monaco and Montréal are both street circuits; they’re quite different from a lot of tracks we visit and there are quite a lot of variables. You never know how you’re going to go at those two tracks but we do now and at least we got a few points.
Does returning to a permanent race circuit bring any positivity? Silverstone is a more normal circuit and we’ve been okay at every other permanent circuit so far this year. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be back to the positions we should be with this package. We just have to be patient, do our very best over the entire weekend and step by step we can start catching the leaders.
How challenging is Silverstone as a race track? Silverstone is all about long sweeping high-speed corners and high downforce levels. It’s one of the fastest circuits on the calendar; it’s very challenging and the flowing corners are pretty good fun to drive. Hopefully our new parts will help us; particularly in the faster corners. If that’s the case, it could be a good weekend.
Have you always liked Silverstone? Yes, it’s always such a good feeling going to Silverstone. It’s a great place to race and it has been a good circuit for me since the very beginning of my career. I have a long history there. It was the real base for the start of my international racing career in Formula Renault in 1999 and 2000. Since then I’ve always enjoyed racing at Silverstone. I don’t know why; there must be this nostalgic feeling that I have every time we go there.
You won at Silverstone in 2007 and have been on the podium five times altogether; how does it feel when everything goes right there? When you win in Silverstone, it gives such a good feeling. You have to get everything exactly right. I won there in Formula Renault and then in Formula 1 with Ferrari in 2007. It would be fantastic to win again there, especially with the factory just down the road. I’m sure we would have some fantastic celebrations.
What about the British summer? It’s always windy at Silverstone. Often it rains too, like we saw last year in qualifying. The track conditions change very quickly, which makes the car more tricky to set-up. Obviously when you are running at the front it’s best to have stable conditions, but I don’t mind really. The weather is just a part of the fun of racing in England. I’ll enjoy the weekend whatever the weather will be.
How’s the feeling from the team? The team has worked 100% to have a really competitive car for the home race. Silverstone is the closest circuit to the factory so hopefully we can celebrate a good result with all of the factory personnel and their families who bring their support every year.
After his fightback through the field in Montréal went largely unnoticed thanks to a change to the planned strategy with an extra pit stop, Romain looks to Silverstone for redemption
How do you like Silverstone? It’s a fantastic track with a lot of high speed corners which should suit the E21; especially with the upgrade package we have for it. It’s a home race for myself and the team so we’re sure to have a lot of support. I won there in the GP2 Series in 2011, so I have to say I quite like it! I also scored points on my Silverstone Formula 1 debut so it’s a run of results I’d like to continue.
Why is Silverstone rated as one of the favourite circuits for many drivers? Silverstone is challenging, but it has a good feel. It’s one of the quickest tracks of the year, with legendary corners like the Magotts, Becketts, Chapel complex. It’s quite a feeling going through there and I can’t wait to feel that sensation once more.
It’s also a special Grand Prix for the team as the factory is very close to the track. It’s always nice to see not only the race team, but also some of the many people from the factory who come to see us in action.
It’s thanks to all their hard work that we’re out on track and they are all doing an amazing job, always working so hard. I will be visiting them after the race and hopefully I will go there with some silverware to show them.
What is difficult about a Silverstone weekend? Last year there was quite a bit of wet weather over the weekend; not that this was much of a surprise to the Englishmen I’ve spoken to! I live quite near to the track now and my experience of regularly visiting Enstone means that I know the weather can change quite a lot. An English summer’s day is wonderful, but sometimes you have to look hard to find one!
Was there much more that could have been done in Canada? There’s not really much to tell. The second set of tyres really didn’t work for us in Montréal and if you can’t get them to work then you’re going to have a difficult race.
We had a strong strategy planned and the first part of the race worked well. Once we got the medium tyre up to temperature at the start of the race I was able to make some good overtaking moves.
This meant we were looking like taking a strong position in the points, which wouldn’t have been bad considering I started at the back of the grid.
However, once we fitted the supersoft tyres it all went wrong. The set we used simply didn’t work for us and the tyres fell away after fewer than ten laps, which was a big surprise.
After that, we could either try to fight a losing battle with shot tyres, or change to a new set – of mediums we decided – and see what we could do by pushing like it was qualifying. Even then we couldn’t get the last set working properly either, so it was a frustrating end to the race.
The next five races are all in Europe; does this make a difference? There’s no jet-lag and you’re more likely to get a good night’s sleep, which is a good thing! The race meetings are shorter too, as you don’t lose the time traveling or getting used to a new time zone. We visit some great destinations over the next few races, with some very knowledgeable and enthusiastic fans. We hope we can put on a good show, with Lotus F1 Team right at the front of the battle.
Lotus F1 Team