Feb.5 (Lotus) Romain Grosjean makes a return to Formula 1, with Lotus, after contesting seven races in 2009. He talks about the challenge of his first full season in the sport he loves
Romain, how does it feel to have a full-time F1 drive?
It’s just starting to sink in. It’s a dream come true to get this drive. A fantastic emotion and a fantastic challenge as well. I think the team has a really good line-up for this year, with Kimi and myself. Hopefully we can do something special. I think I’ll only truly realise it when we get to Melbourne and I see my name on the official entry list. For now I’m really happy to be at the factory as much as I can, to get involved with the team and get ready for testing.
How do you view this season – you had a part season two years ago – so is this a part-rookie year?
It’s difficult to say how I should view this season. For sure I did seven grands prix alongside Fernando [Alonso] and the experience I gained from that was helpful – and is still helpful today. On the other hand there are still some circuits that I don’t know. But I don’t think we can say I’m a rookie, just because of the [level of] experience [that] I have. Let’s say that I am a young driver who still has plenty of things to learn in Formula One, but we are all expecting a good season.
How and why is the 2012 specification Romain Grosjean different compared to the 2009 version?
Grosjean: Compared with 2009 I am two years older! No big difference, just an improvement in terms of many small things, including maturity. The 2009 experience was very helpful for me to understand things and grow up from that point. So it was difficult, but very good as well. The 2012 Romain Grosjean sees life a little bit differently. My aim is to enjoy my number one passion, Formula One.
What do you expect will be your biggest challenge in 2012?
Grosjean: Formula One is a big, big challenge, but I think the biggest challenge personally will be to get 100 per cent out of myself and the car, every time, no mistakes. That is the life of a Formula One driver. You need to get 100 per cent out of the car, focus, concentrate and improve lap after lap. So I hope we can have a good car from the beginning of the season, some good ambitions going into the first race and just develop all season long.
What do you think of the new car?
Grosjean: From what I’ve seen of the new car so far, I can say that the colours are the same! We will see when get on the track. Hopefully it will be a good car and we can give it a nice nickname after the first test. Then we will try to improve it lap after lap and session after session.