Grosjean: I'd love to surprise
Lotus driver enjoys F1 baptism in Monaco
By Mike Wise in Monaco. Last Updated: 24/05/12 5:42pm
Romain Grosjean admitted he would love to be Formula 1's latest surprise winner after getting his Monaco Grand Prix weekend off to a positive start on Thursday.
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The Lotus driver ended both of the day's practice sessions second quickest and looked immediately in the groove around the twisting 3.340km Monte Carlo street circuit.
Grosjean is making his Grand Prix debut in the Principality but says the track is one of his favourites. He also has form here, having won the GP2 feature race three years ago.
The winner of the support category's sprint race on that occasion was Pastor Maldonado and Grosjean hopes he can follow up the now Williams driver's Spanish Grand Prix victory - a result that would give F1 its sixth different winning constructor in as many races.
"Let's see Sunday. It's would be nice. I would love to be the surprise here but step-by-step. I think free practice went pretty well, let's see how qualifying goes and then the race," the Swiss-born Frenchman said.
Grosjean traded times with the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and eventual pacesetter Fernando Alonso during the morning session - one which team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was absent from as Lotus worked to set up the steering on his E20.
Despite making his F1 baptism in Monaco this weekend, Grosjean said he had no problem adjusting to the increased speed.
"When you know a track, even in a different category, it's always easy. It took about five or six laps to set a good lap time, then the second one was quicker and the last one we couldn't do," he said.
"Then in the afternoon, we went quicker again. I think it always takes you one or two laps to get up to speed and then when the car is warm and you are warm then you can go for the lap.
"It's a nice track and with a Formula 1 car it's pretty interesting - I think even better than with the GP2 as the car is more manageable in the corners. And we have a good baseline at the moment, so you enjoy even more the time you spend on the track."
Afternoon rain prevented Grosjean from running on Pirelli's supersoft tyres - which are making their first appearance of the season in Monaco this weekend.
But with more bad weather forecast across the weekend, the 26-year-old said he was thankful for the chance to run intermediates.
"I couldn't try the supersofts, that may be the only bad point of the day. But at the end of the day normally our car is pretty good on the change of tyre because we keep the same handling. So hopefully it's going to be the case here. We're going to put supersofts on in P3 then to see what it gives," added Grosjean, who earned his first podium finish in Bahrain.
"But then it was good as well to do a few laps on the wets to see which parts you can use, which white lines are dangerous and stuff like that.
"You never know here. Now it's sunny and before it was raining...it can change in 10 minutes."