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Romain Grosjean Q&A: I will do my best for Renault team 18 Aug 2009

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Renault Third Driver walks the circuit.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Preparations, Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, 23 July 2009 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Renault Development Driver.
Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, 22 July 2008 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Renault R28. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, Day One, Thursday 12 June 2008. World © Hartley/Sutton

Ahead of his Formula One race debut at this weekend's European Grand Prix, Renault’s Romain Grosjean talks about his preparations for the Valencia race, his illustrious team mate Fernando Alonso, and his hopes for the event…

Q: Romain, you will race with Renault for the rest of the season. How does it feel to have this opportunity?
Romain Grosjean:
Of course I'm very excited and I want to thank the team for giving me this chance. I started dreaming about being a Formula One driver when I was seven or eight years -old when I was watching the battles between Prost and Senna on television so to make my debut in Valencia really is a dream come true.

Q: Does it feel special to drive for the only French team on the grid?
My goal has always been to become a Formula One driver and to do that with a French team makes it even more special. Renault have supported me since 2006 and it was only with their help that I could afford to continue racing. There is maybe a bit more attention because people have been waiting for a French driver in a Renault, but I will do my best to show that they were right to believe in me.

Q: How valuable has it been to attend all the races as third driver this year?
It has been really helpful as I've got to know everybody and seen how the team works. Attending all the meetings and debriefs during the last six months will certainly help me make the most of this opportunity.

Q: How does it feel to be team mate to Fernando Alonso - a double world champion?
He is a great champion - maybe the best driver in Formula One and I'm looking forward to working with him for the rest of the season. We already get on well and because he has so much experience I know there is a lot I can learn from him.

Q: You raced in Valencia in GP2 last year - what did you think of the circuit?
It's a mix between a street course and a normal circuit because in some places the track is narrow and tricky and in other places it's really wide with lots of run-off. It's not the easiest place to make your debut, but I've always liked street races and enjoy the atmosphere of being in the middle of a city.

Q: How have you been preparing for your debut?
I've tried to make my preparation as normal as possible, although I have been training my neck muscles more than usual because Formula One is more demanding than GP2 on this part of the body. I've also taken some holiday time during the summer break to make sure I am fresh and 100 percent ready for Valencia.

Q: What are you hopes for the weekend?
I've only driven the R29 in straight-line testing so my first race will be a learning experience. It's difficult to set myself an objective so my first priority will be to get comfortable with the car, build my confidence over the weekend and do the best job I can for the team.