Latest / Interview

Romain Grosjean Q&A: Lotus swansong will be ‘poignant’

20 Nov 2015

Next weekend’s race in Abu Dhabi will be a special one for Lotus’s Romain Grosjean, marking his 83rd and final appearance for the Enstone-based team before he moves on to a fresh challenge with the all-new Haas squad for 2016. As Grosjean prepares to bid farewell to the team with whom he has spent his entire F1 career, the French-Swiss - or is it Swiss-French? - gives an insight into his frame of mind…

Q: So are you French-Swiss or Swiss-French?

Romain Grosjean: It depends who wins during a competition, whether it’s tennis, football, skiing…

Q: Do you have anything special planned to mark the end of your time at Enstone?

RG: Of course the priority over the race weekend is to score as many points as possible, but it will be quite poignant to be having my last meetings, meals, track walk and other things with the team. I’ve shared so many good and also so many character-building times through my years at Enstone so we’ll have some good laughs. Of course, before I leave Enstone I will make a visit to the factory to see all the people I’ve worked with over so many years. I’m sure that will be an emotional day.

Q: What are your thoughts on Yas Marina as a Grand Prix venue?

RG: It’s a good track with very nice paddock facilities which in my opinion are amongst the best on the calendar. It’s also a very special Grand Prix given that it starts in the day and finishes under lights, which makes it incredible for the fans as they can see through our visors and watch how hard we are concentrating. It’s also pretty good for me as I can get up a bit later on race day! The weekend is a bit unusual as it can be difficult to work on car set-up in FP1 and FP3 as conditions are not representative of those you’ll find in qualifying and the race. This means FP2 becomes even more important for both the engineers and myself, which makes it a rather crucial session.

Q: How are you approaching the last race of the season?

RG: I’ll be fighting all the way. There’s no point holding back in the race or over the weekend. It’s the last time the E23s will be used in race action so I’ll be looking to give my car a good send off. The engine will be turned up to eleven, I’ll be racing my heart out and I know all the guys and girls at Enstone want to see a great end to the season.

Q: You made a great start and vault up the order in Brazil; could we see more of the same in Abu Dhabi?

RG: Part of the reason I was able to make a great start and work through the order in the Brazilian Grand Prix was because of my mistakes in qualifying the day before. Certainly I’ll be looking to qualify well and work my way forwards in Abu Dhabi. The Brazilian weekend was tough as there were a lot of emotions because of all the terrible events in Paris and that affected us all. Abu Dhabi is a different event and we’re all focused on a strong weekend to end the season.

Q: What do you have planned after the season ends?

RG: Firstly, and most importantly, I’m looking forward to spending as much time as possible with my loved ones. Recent events really bring home how important it is to cherish life, your family and your friends. My family is very young so I’m spending some magical time with them, even if I do get more sleep sometimes when I’m on the road! It’s important to get as much mental and physical rest as you can when the season is over and for me there’s the additional challenge that I’ll be working in a very different environment for 2016.