Grosjean determined to keep cool
Frenchman wants to put the perfect weekend together in Valencia
By Mike Wise in Valencia. Last Updated: June 21, 2012 8:02pm
The temperature is soaring in Valencia ahead of this weekend's European Grand Prix but Romain Grosjean remains determined to keep his cool and score his first Formula 1 victory.
Grosjean arrives back in Spain having scored his best result to date in Canada two weeks ago when an inspired one-stop strategy enabled him to finish second behind McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.
Now there is a feeling that the Frenchman can go one better: the combination of Grosjean's performance in Montreal and the notion that Lotus's E20 car performs better in hotter conditions creating a sense that a breakthrough might come on the track where he made his F1 debut three years ago.
Not that the prospect of becoming the eighth winner in as many races appeared to faze Grosjean in the paddock on Thursday - the 26 year-old not even breaking sweat as temperatures climbed as high as 35 degrees Celsius.
"Things can change quite quickly but on the paper we are looking good here," Grosjean said. "Again the car is good, it's hot - a good point for us. Hopefully, we keep this advantage and find a way to make it work when it's too hot and then we can have a good chance."
Grosjean will need a strong qualifying performance if he is to stand a chance of victory this weekend on a circuit where overtaking is, even by F1 standards, at something of a premium.
Lotus have admitted that race pace has been their strong suit so far, but even if Grosjean was to produce a strong qualifying performance on Saturday then he must break an unfortunate habit of failing to capitalise on a promising grid slot.
That was the case in both Australia and Monaco, while Grosjean's two podium finishes in Canada and Bahrain came from seventh on the grid. In Valencia, though, he is hopeful both he and Lotus can finally put the perfect weekend together.
"We've been learning a few things from Bahrain especially, and from Canada as well, with the different compounds and hopefully we can try to make everything in place here to get the best qualifying. And if it's a good qualifying then it's a good race," he said. "But we are still understanding a few things to not compromise the race and still be good in qualy."
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Mindful that the British Grand Prix at Silverstone is just around the corner, Grosjean also admitted that Lotus are also striving to ensure that their car is strong in all conditions.
"I think this is an area where we're working. We have a few solutions. I think it could be good for the cold conditions. We're in the summer and hopefully we'll get more hot tracks than cool tracks But, yes, this is where we need to improve ourselves," he said.
Grosjean embarked on the current season with a reputation to rebuild after struggling during the closing races of 2009. Now spoken of as a potential race winner, he feels he has made progress personally.
"I'm happily surprised by how this season is going. The team made a good car, which is mandatory to achieve some good results. And then we did some good races; I'm working very hard with my engineer to get the best relationship together, to understand each other very well," Grosjean added.
"It was Barcelona where I said we did a step forward, and maybe Canada another one, and with these small steps, if you put one with the other, then you are more ready to get the perfect weekend."