Grosjean: Hockenheim will tell how much we have progressed

Romain Grosjean non-commital ahead of the German GP

Romain Grosjean non-committal ahead of the German GP

After paying the price from a difficult start position at Silverstone, Romain Grosjean is determined to put up more of a fight in the German Grand Prix.

Your last two German GPs have seen contrasting results…
I’ve definitely got good memories of Germany from last year at the Nürburgring, when I led the race on the way to finishing a close third behind Kimi. However my only Hockenheim F1 race was one to forget, a grid penalty and then car damage early in the 2012 GP. I’ve got nothing against the track though – one of my first single seater races was at Hockenheim in 2003 and I’ve raced there in various categories over the years. The shorter layout may not have the same character as the original Hockenheim, but it usually provides plenty of overtaking and the atmosphere in the stadium is amazing. It’s another track where the fans are absolutely brilliant and really show their appreciation of the sport. I’m looking forward to returning.

What about the weather?
The weather played a part in the Silverstone weekend, just as it did at Hockenheim in 2012, so we’ll need to stay on our toes. I think as a team we have more to gain than lose from any weather changes so we should view them as an opportunity – the E22 seemed to like the damp conditions at Silverstone.

Romain Grosjean in the cockpit of the E22

Romain Grosjean in the cockpit of the E22

Will the circuit suit the E22?
We’ve worked hard to improve performance in the low-speed corners, so Hockenheim will be a good test of how much we’ve progressed. Apart from the run down to the hairpin there are no real straights to speak about so power unit emphasis will be on acceleration rather than top speed.

How would you sum up Silverstone?
I was lucky to avoid the incident at the first start and towards the end of the race our pace was quite good, but starting so far down cost us the chance of points. We can’t afford to give our rivals a head-start like that and a top ten grid place will be the first target for Hockenheim.

What can we expect from the two-day test at Silverstone after the GP?
I wasn’t driving but I did attend on Tuesday to see what we were working on. The aim was to complete a thorough aerodynamic programme and we did just that. It’s a bit too early to say what will come from it but it looked positive. At this stage in the new regulations, every outing on track is so valuable to keep the development curve going.

Romain Grosjean during the British GP weekend

Romain Grosjean during the British GP weekend

Do you prepare differently for a track that features every other year as opposed to every season?
Not really, we approach most tracks in the same way. The big differences training-wise come when we race in extreme conditions such as humidity or high temperatures, or more generally, if we’re going to a brand new track. We will pay particular attention to changes around the circuit during the Thursday track walk but that’s true of any grand prix.

You’ve enjoyed some interesting side projects lately, how is your cooking these days?
I had the pleasure of learning from a master recently, Raymond Blanc, which was brilliant. He’s a great man and was kind enough to show me how he prepares a salmon-based dish which is my wife’s favourite. It’s amazing to have the opportunity to do things like that, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of racing of course!