Hungarian GP: Grosjean happy with strong qualifying performance
By Berthold Bouman
Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was happy with his qualifying performance, the young Frenchman finished second and will therefore start the race from the front row of the grid today. It is also the best qualifying performance of his Formula One career, and he is hopeful of a good position during today’s race.
Asked whether he was happy with the car he said, “We normally have a good race pace, it’s good to be back at the front. We had a difficult German Grand Prix and a difficult start here in Hungary. But the guys did a fantastic job trying to help me set up the car, trying to find out what was wrong and [we’re] back to the top and it’s good.”
Grosjean called the result of the German Grand Prix ‘a bit of a disaster’ as he finished 18th, one lap behind winner Fernando Alonso. “But,” said Grosjean, “then we found back the speed, improved the car, tried to understand what was wrong with it, and being here on the front row is something special — especially here at the Hungarian Grand Prix where we know overtaking is very difficult. We need to start from the front, we said that since a long time — so first job done.”
Asked whether he was confident the Lotus will also perform well with full fuel tanks, he replied, “Normally it’s better on high fuel than on low fuel, so it’s pretty good to be on the front row. We have been maybe working a bit more this week on qualifying because we know it’s a big key for the race. So, hopefully the car will feel pretty well with the tank fuelled and the set-up we normally run for the race. Hopefully that’s the case.”
Before the German Grand Prix Sir Jackie Stewart offered his advice to the Lotus driver, which he politely rejected, but the fact remains Grosjean lost a lot of points due to crashes. Asked how he wants to turn his second place on the grid into a podium he answered, “Well, the key is to stay on track, that’s for sure. Let’s have a good start, let’s see where we are at the beginning of the race and how the car feels. Hopefully it’s going to feel alright, as it did in Bahrain or Canada, and if we have this, then I think we have everything in our pocket to fight for a good result.”
If Grosjean would score his maiden victory today, he would write history as he would be the first Lotus driver to do so after Ayrton Senna won the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix, which was also the Brazilian’s maiden win.