Renault to give Grosjean two Friday drives 29 Oct 2011
Renault have announced that reigning GP2 champion Romain Grosjean will drive for the team during the first practice sessions at the final two races of the season in Abu Dhabi and Brazil.
Frenchman Grosjean made seven Grand Prix appearances for Renault in 2009, and having rejoined the team this year as a third driver, he will drive Bruno Sennas car for the first 90-minute session at Yas Marina next month, followed by Vitaly Petrovs R31 at the season-ending round in Sao Paulo.
I am delighted to be given this opportunity and I feel very excited about driving the R31 for the first time during a Grand Prix weekend, said Grosjean. It will be a big responsibility for me and my priority will be to do the best job I can for the team.
I know all the teams mechanics and engineers, am familiar with the methodology and processes and I know the two tracks Ill be testing on. I also feel that the racing I did in the GP2 Series this year will stand me in good stead fitness-wise. Finally, I did some F1 testing for Pirelli during the winter at the beginning of this year, so the tyres shouldnt be too alien to me.
Grosjeans original Formula One foray proved disappointing, but two years on and with his credibility boosted by his GP2 success, he is again in contention for a 2012 race seat with Renault, should the injured Robert Kubica not be ready to make his return.
I believe all the right elements are in place to make this a great experience, and I dont feel too much pressure going into this, added Grosjean of his Friday comeback. My aim, of course, will be to help Lotus Renault GP prepare for the race weekends, to offer the best feedback I can and to be reliable and consistent. Getting an opportunity like this is always a massive boost in a drivers career and Ill make sure I make the most of the chance Ive been given.
Eric Boullier, Renault team principal, added: Romain has been part of the LRGP family since February and we feel this is an appropriate time to give him a chance to drive for us during two Free Practice sessions. Putting his skills to the test in two consecutive Friday sessions will offer him precious experience of driving the R31 during a race weekend and will make him a better driver.
Im sure that his feedback will be useful for the team, especially as he raced in F1 only two years ago. Since then, he has improved in every area and Im sure hell do a good job for us. We will be able to do this without compromising our usual Friday set-up work in any way, and as of Free Practice 2 at both race weekends, Bruno and Vitaly will return to their cars.
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