Romain Grosjean scored his second podium finish of the season when he crossed the line to finish third in the German Grand Prix at Nurburgring, the Lotus driver delivering a strong and mature performance which has done his shares a fair amount of good.
The Frenchman spoke after the race about his afternoon which resulted in his fifth Formula 1 career podium.
How good is it being back on the podium, even if it is now the third position and not the second if that could been?
Romain Grosjean: It’s good, it’s a good result for the team. We had a very strong race, which is good…a very good first stint. I thought I would have had a chance at one stage on Seb but the Red Bull was quick today. And then at the end we choose different strategy with the team. I think that was the right things to do – just put one car on one tyres and the other one on the other one, and it appears the Option for Kimi was quicker. So, yeah, I think it was good to play a little bit, the team, and then I’m very happy to be back on the podium. I think we’ve deserved it for a little while but now it’s reality.
Great to see you back here in the top three again. Fantastic first stint that really played you into contention for this grand prix. Tell us about your race, about how you felt and also a little bit of detail maybe about the radio traffic that was going on.
RG: We had a good qualifying and the first stint has been amazing, seeing P1 on the board is always good. The car was working much better than what we thought on Option tyres. After the first pit stop Seb and myself were quite a long way ahead of everyone else and it was looking like we will try to see with strategy to adapt, to stop three stops depending on how we were going and then the Safety Car came. It made it easy for strategy but less good then for the traffic. Clearly then, as a team we had to put different eggs not in the same basket and change different strategy for Kimi and myself. It appears that Kimi’s one worked better but it could have been the opposite. So, it’s good to be back on the podium, good to score strong points. The summer is back on – which should help us to be more consistent at the front. But the first stint has been really good and finally getting car and tyres that work together, it’s nice.
Is the performance of your car also related to the new tyres?
RG: I think when we tested it in Canada – well, personally, I quite liked them. They were more proper racing tyres with the different rear belt so I was sort of happy that they brought them here. I think the compounds – medium and soft – were better than hard and medium normally, so I am looking forward to using the full new tyres from Budapest onwards that I understood a little bit better last year than this year. The fronts are a bit strange sometimes but as Sebastian said I think the main thing was to have a safety issue. We all remember Felipe Massa in 2009 and we don’t want to see the same thing with a piece of tyre so we were glad and happy that Pirelli did something and well done to them because it wasn’t easy.
For the second race in a row, you were told you to let Kimi pass. Do you think you have any chance to fight for wins when you’re ahead of Kimi?
RG: When the opportunity comes, yes. Today, as I said, we didn’t put our eggs in the same basket and Kimi was quicker and might have gained on Sebastian but it didn’t work. I think it was the right thing to do. It is important for a team to score points and try to get the win. Without the safety car it would have been a different story, but we all got together and that was it.
Subbed by AJN.