Romain Grosjean looks back at his performance on day two of the in-season test at Mugello and the potential of the team.
Q. Romain, P1 on the time sheets today in Mugello off the back of a great weekend in Bahrain; it seems things are moving in the right direction...
RG: "I hope so! We've shown strong pace in each of this year's test sessions and at race weekends as well so we know the E20 is a good car, but at the end of the day nobody is pushing for ultimate lap times here. It's nice to see our name at the front but the priority is to experiment with setup changes we may want to use at the coming races, which is exactly what we've been doing. We feel there's more to come from the car, and the idea is to find where that will come from."
Q. The team worked through quite a number of setup variations today; how much has this affected the car throughout the session?
RG: "The car is feeling better and better as we continue to work on it, which is obviously great as it means we're on the right track with the changes we're making. We also have a far better understanding of how the E20 works now than we did earlier in the season, which gives us a clearer idea of what will help get more pace out of it. The main positive for me is that the car feels good with a range of different setups as well as in varying conditions; it's easy to drive and that makes everything else much easier too."
Q. Has the team been testing any upgrades here or is the focus purely on gaining a better understanding of how to set up the car?
RG: "It's more been about getting to know as much as possible about the way the car behaves with different setups. During a race weekend it's hard to try everything you want to due to the limited running time and tyre allocations, so this is the ideal opportunity to put those ideas into practice without potentially wasting valuable track time. The data we get here will give us a much better platform for the rest of the season."
Q. If the car keeps improving the way it has so far, do you think the team has a realistic chance of fighting for the World Championship?
RG: "Honestly we're not thinking about that right now; our target is fourth in the Constructor's Championship and that's what we're focused on. There are some big teams in the sport, and of course we want to be fighting among them, but it's never going to be easy in such a competitive field. For me personally, it's my first full season in Formula 1 and my priority for this year is to get good points for the team and build from there. If we find ourselves on the podium again that would be fantastic and of course if we go one step further then even better, but there's a long way to go and a lot of work to be done."
Source - Lotus - Renault