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Romain Grosjean Q&A: Giving up not in my nature 29 Jun 2013

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Qualifying, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 29 June 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Qualifying, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 29 June 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Qualifying, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 29 June 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Qualifying, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 29 June 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Qualifying, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 29 June 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Qualifying, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 29 June 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Qualifying, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 29 June 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Qualifying, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 29 June 2013

It has been a rollercoaster season thus far for Romain Grosjean - in every way. His luck, his form, and the performance of Lotus’s E21 car have all been up and down. Tyres have played a big part according to the Frenchman, but with the team seemingly getting on top of that, he believes Silverstone could be a new beginning. Speaking exclusively to Formula1.com, Grosjean discusses his 2013 progress, his relationship with team mate Kimi Raikkonen, and his prospects should the Finn depart for Red Bull next year…

Q: Romain, why is it so difficult to channel talent in the right direction? Everybody recognizes you as somebody with potential, yet you haven’t been able to transform this into consistent F1 results…
Romain Grosjean:
That depends on many things. Firstly, the season has not gone as expected so far. We couldn’t get to grips with the new tyres - we found in Bahrain out and went back to basics. Then came two races with pretty tough luck: the suspension issue in Barcelona and getting blocked in qualifying in Monaco - where otherwise I would have been third on the grid. And then came Canada with many yellow flags that blocked me from doing better. All these incidents sound almost like a joke, so let’s hope that this is past me. It is hard to get into Formula One and win straight away!

Q: You just said that it was almost like a joke. At what point did you stop laughing?
RG:
You definitely stop laughing. In Canada I thought that when I see a black cat on the road I will kill it. Yes, sometimes it is hard to believe that things will turn around, but you have to believe. This is high-level sport and you either belong or you give up. Giving up is not part of my nature.

Q: Was there a point in the last couple of weeks when you started to worry about your future?
RG:
No, because it is still early in the season and the team knows what is going on. They know what I am capable of and the reason for the current situation. We started the year thinking that we will perform well. Everything was showing that there was no reason for doubt, but then we really started to struggle with the new tyres - and now we are working ourselves out of that.

Q: What do you make of the rumours that Kimi might sail off to Red Bull Racing next season? Does that make you a sure bet for a 2014 Lotus cockpit, as somebody who knows the team and their development?
RG:
I have no idea what Kimi is going to choose for 2014 and I have not put much thought into it. He is a good team mate. We get on very well together. If he goes I must say that we had two good years.

Q: You are confident that you will stay with Lotus?
RG:
I hope so.

Q: Is it comforting that none of the team’s three test drivers seems to be a real alternative? So if Kimi goes you are the next best thing?
RG:
Well, I hope that even if he stays I am the next best thing!

Q: Would you miss Kimi, should he go?
RG:
Sure. As I said, he is a good team mate and a good reference. It would be a real loss. What he finds on the car I can use and vice versa. I think at this stage we are really complementary. But in the end it is his choice.

Q: Looking at the last two races, it was not only driver mishap but also the impression that the car was giving in. What is it with the E21 right now?
RG:
It is on the four corners of the car! (laughs) It is so difficult to make the tyres work properly. Last year it was fine as the degradation was manageable. This year it is more of a gamble. Some teams can handle it well, others don’t get along with them.

Q: Last year Silverstone was not so bad. Could it be some sort of comeback into the points this weekend? What is your target for tomorrow?
RG:
I very much hope that it is a comeback into the points - and that the black cat is finally dead! A podium finish? It would be very welcome! But let’s be realistic and go for as many points as possible - with both cars.

Q: What do you make of today’s qualifying? Normally Lotus are better in the race than in qualifying…
RG:
We have brought some updates that are really working - new bits on the rear bodywork and on the front wing on my car, and on Kimi’s the double DRS and other bits and pieces. And we seem to be pretty fast…

Q: In all likelihood the tyres will again play a major role here. Do you think that because of the characteristics of this track you have a better chance here?
RG:
Well, this is mainly a front limited track and as we have been basically struggling with the rear we should be fine - but how fine the race will show. Let’s put it this way: we are going into this race more confident than of late.

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