Grosjean plays down Lotus title challenge talk

L-R: Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1, Eric Boullier (FRA) Lotus F1 Team Principal, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 celebrate with the team. Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday 22 April 2012.

Lotus team celebrate their double podium after the race at Sakhir

May.4 (GP247) Without doubt the most upwardly mobile F1 team of the season to date has been Lotus, their two drivers showing strong pace in all four races thus far and coming good with a double podium finish at the recent Bahrain GP.

Invariably talk of a title challenge by both Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean has been doing the rounds in the paddock.

When asked about about a title tilt by media during testing at Mugello, Grosjean said, “Honestly we are not thinking about that right now. Our target is fourth in the constructors’ championship and that’s what we’re focused on.”

The Frenchman explained, “There are some big teams and of course we want to be fighting them, but it’s never going to be easy in such a competitive field. For me personally, it’s my first full season in Formula 1 and my priority for this year is to get good points for the team and build from there..

Grosjean had an abortive induction into F1, in 2009, when he was drafted into the beleaguered (at the time) Renault team to replace Nelson Piquet Jnr.

Now, fresh from his first F1 podium finish in Bahrain, the reigning GP2 Series champion said, “If we find ourselves on the podium again that would be fantastic and of course if we go one step further then even better, but there’s a long way to go and a lot of work to be done.”

Grosjean was fastest on both days he was on duty in the cockpit of the Lotus E20 at Mugello. He reflected at the end of day two, “The car is feeling better as we continue to work on it, which is obviously great as it means we’re on the right track with the changes we’re making. We also have a far better understanding of how the E20 works now than we did earlier in the season, which gives us a clearer idea of what will help get more pace out of it.”

“The main positive for me is that the car feels good with a range of different setups as well as in varying conditions; it’s easy to drive and that makes everything else much easier too,” concluded Grosjean.