|© Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic/Lotus
After a summer break spent enjoying his honeymoon, Romain Grosjean comes back for the second half of the season refreshed and, in his own words, stronger than ever.
What are your thoughts about Spa-Francorchamps?
What a track; it’s fantastic! A superb rollercoaster of a circuit, then there’s the added bonus that they speak French meaning it’s another home race for me after Monaco and Canada. It’s going to be good. I hope the upgrades to the car are going to make the difference. If we’d had the pace we displayed at Budapest on a more normal track with better places to overtake we could have taken the win. Spa is a more regular circuit with good passing opportunities, so let’s see what happens.
You haven’t driven with it yet, but what are your thoughts about the new 'device’ as tested by Kimi (Raikkonen)?
The interesting device! If it gives me an advantage I’m certainly looking forward to driving with it! I’m sure it will be a good thing, especially if we have it working well. Hopefully it gives us an advantage and the race win that we want.
Do you feel the team are where they need to be in terms of qualifying?
I think we’re in a pretty good place now. We understand a few things a bit better and if you take the last race we had as a measure we are showing good qualifying and race pace which is what we need to do.
The E20 looks to be cementing itself as a very good race car; how much are you looking forward to driving it through the classic corners of Spa- Francorchamps?
It should fit the E20 pretty well. The second half of the season looks good in terms of how the tracks should suit the car. Hopefully we’ll have everything we need to win races. I’m looking forward to it as it’s a special track; it’s Spa and also I won the GP2 Series title there last year. It’ll be good to be back there again.
The first half of your season seemed to have something of a good weekend/bad weekend pattern. Have you done everything you can to prevent the bad weekends?
As a team, we’re all doing our best to prevent these bad experiences. This year, any grid penalty linked to a gearbox change, any technical failure, any DNF caused by a collision, could lose the team a place in the constructors’ championship. We all know what is at stake. On a personal level, I’ve learnt a lot from the first 11 races of the year and I’m finding my own balance, finding what is good and what is bad. I’ve had time in the summer break to evaluate the first half of the year and hopefully I’ll come back stronger. I’m still a young driver and three podiums so far this year is a reasonable performance. I’ve been fighting with world champions and I’m pretty happy with where I am. However, I will never be complacent and I’ll try to be a better driver at every single race.
How are you feeling in yourself?
It was good to have a holiday, especially for me as it was my honeymoon! It has certainly been an intense first half of the year, so it’s good to let the body and mind get some rest and I’m coming back stronger and ready for action.
You’re currently eighth in the drivers’ championship; what can be achieved by the end of the year?
I’m just taking it race by race. It’s very tight with myself, Jenson (Button) and Nico (Rosberg) all covered by only two points and there’s no reason why we can’t keep climbing higher. It was good to be back on the podium before the break and I think we’ve got a better chance than ever to win races, so let’s aim for more in the second part of the season.