After a frustrating British Grand Prix, Lotus driver Romain Grosjean has his sights set on the Nürburgring; the scene of two podium finishes – including a win (albeit in the GP2 Series) when he last visited the track.
How do you like the Nürburgring?
It’s quite a nice track with a quite a lot to it. There’s a really interesting mix of corners which means you have plenty to think about over the course of a lap; you’re certainly kept busy! The first section relies on mechanical grip and Turn 1 can be interesting at the start of the race if people go too deep into the corner. It can also be a good overtaking opportunity during the race too. After that there are some higher speed corners down to the hairpin – which is another good place you can overtake – then nice high speed stuff for the rest of the lap. You need a well-balanced car so I think we should go pretty well.
What’s your past form at the circuit?
This will be my first time racing there in F1, but I’ve raced at the track previously in F3 and the GP2 Series. Last time I raced there – 2011 in the GP2 Series – I scored a podium and a win so my most recent memories of the circuit are certainly good.
Would you like to have raced on the old Nürburgring?
It’s quite some circuit and it must have been amazing to have raced there. I can’t imagine what it would be like if we raced the current F1 cars there. For starters can you imagine how long the set-up meetings would be with all those corners to talk about?! The Thursday morning track walk would be pretty epic too!
How was your British Grand Prix?
It wasn’t the best of races; quite a frustrating one in fact. We had a problem with the front wing which got worse over the course of the race, and ultimately we lost a big part of it. There was a lot of vibration and it became really difficult to drive, so in the end it was best to retire because of safety considerations. Before that, things weren’t going quite to plan and we were suffering with tyre performance issues related to the front wing. The Safety Cars didn’t really go our way either, so it’s a race I’d rather forget.
Was it good to out-qualify Kimi for the first time this season?
Of course, you always want to be faster than your team-mate so it was good to be in front of him on the grid. We both had different upgrade packages on our cars, so it was good to see we were able to get similar speeds out of them. Of course, we want some more speed too, but there are still more parts to come and we’re still learning about the latest upgrades so there’s potential yet.
What do you think can be achieved from the next few races?
We’ve got new parts on the car and we certainly have the pace for some strong results. The last few races have been frustrating for various reasons, so if we can get a few solid weekends we should be able to get some decent results and score good points.
What are your thoughts on the current tyre situation?
Well it looks like I could be busy at the Young Driver Test in a few weeks’ time if race drivers are allowed to take part. Certainly, Silverstone was a very unusual situation and I know that myself and Kimi were being asked to stay off the kerbs as it was thought that using them on certain corners wasn’t helping the situation. No-one wants tyre failures and I know all the teams and the sport are working with Pirelli to put this right. I’m sure there will be a satisfactory solution soon. (Lotus F1)
Subbed by AJN.