Grosjean gunning for Vettel

Lotus driver hopes to make tyre strategy pay

By Mike Wise at Sepang.   Last Updated: 24/03/12 4:47pm

  • Share:
Romain Grosjean: Has saved harder tyres for Sunday's race

Romain Grosjean: Has saved harder tyres for Sunday's race

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Romain Grosjean is hoping a tyre advantage will help him get the jump on Sebastian Vettel at the start of Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.

THE ONLY PLACE TO BE

Sky Sports F1 HD is THE only place to watch the 2012 Formula One season in full.

We will have live and exclusive coverage of the Malaysian Grand Prix starting from 7.30am on Sunday.

To find out all the different ways to watch the action, click here

The Lotus driver lines up sixth on the grid at Sepang, one place behind the defending World Champion, who took the unusual step of setting his time in the final qualifying session on the prime tyre.

Vettel will therefore start the race on the hard compound Pirelli and Grosjean is hoping his mediums, together with the straightline speed of his Lotus, will enable him to get past.

"Hopefully. Normally our start is pretty good. There is a long distance to the first corner so this time we shouldn't have any problem. We hope to gain as much pace as we can before the first corner," the Frenchman said.

Balance

Grosjean said the difference between the tyres is "really thinly balanced" this weekend, with some teams electing to save primes for the race while others such as Vettel have saved options.

The 25-year-old revealed he has "two new primes and no more new options" for the race, which is notoriously tough in terms of tyre degradation.

He said: "It was a long discussion that we had before qualy - to know exactly which tyre we were going to race on and it wasn't as clear as it can be in some circumstances.

"But I think everyone has been trying to save as much tyres as they could. We've been doing only one run in Q2, one lap to have some new primes ready and some good options as well."

Despite the prospect of an early exit, Grosjean reckoned his solitary run late in the second session was a chance worth taking.

"It's a choice that you have to take, a risk that you have to take with the engineers. Sometimes you have a little bit of a margin; sometimes you have less margin," he said.

"Whatever, it was our call and I think it was the right one because now we have one set of prime tyres in our pocket."

Surprise

Grosjean, who qualified third on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix before retiring early after a collision with Williams' Pastor Maldonado, admitted that he has been surprised at Lotus's early form.

"We were pretty surprised in Melbourne that we were there and I think today is the same story: we are at a different track with different conditions but the car is still here," he said.

Referring to the chassis problems that curtailed Lotus's running pre-season, Grosjean added: "It's a fantastic job from all the team - especially after what happened in winter testing. It could have been a disaster."

  • Share:

Related

Malaysian Grand Prix 2012

Narain Karthikeyan: Stewards agreed with Vettel

Karthikeyan penalised by stewards

Malaysian GP stewards gave Narain Karthikeyan a 20-second time penalty following his collision with Sebastian Vettel while being lapped.

Perez hunted down Alonso being making an error

Sauber denies conspiracy talk

Peter Sauber has rubbished suggestions that Sergio Perez's race engineer sent him a coded radio message not to attack Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Bruno Senna: Earned his best F1 result in the Malaysian Grand Prix

Senna out to silence critics

Bruno Senna hopes his sixth-place finish in Malaysia will go some way to answer critics who say he is only in F1 because of his famous name.

Related Profiles

Most Popular

Features

2014 driver review

2014 driver review

From Lewis Hamilton to Andre Lotterer, every driver's year reviewed and rated from the 2014 season.

F1 dates for 2015

F1 dates for 2015

Your essential one-stop guide to the driver line-ups, testing and race schedules for next season.

Maldonado exclusive

Maldonado exclusive

One of F1's most controversial drivers talks to Sky F1 about his move to Lotus and his reputation.