Romain Grosjean: I’m after a positive end to a tough seasonWith double points on offer, Romain is hoping to put a difficult year behind him and head into the 2015 season off the back of a strong points finish.
Are you looking forward to tackling the Yas Marina circuit again?
Definitely, I think 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. However, it is very 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. Therefore, FP2 becomes even more important for both the engineers and myself, which makes it a rather pressurized session. It’s a circuit with low-speed corners - so it’s one we may have a few problems with - but I’m confident we can dial-in the car to achieve the maximum result possible. Pastor and I will be doing everything we can.
What difference do you think the soft and super soft tyres will make in Abu Dhabi?
It could make quite a bit of difference. It’s quite a nice feeling to attack different races with different tyre strategies. When tyres play a bigger part in the race, it gives us a chance to get up amongst it, even if it is for limited periods. Perhaps we can use a different strategy that plays into our hands. The last time we used super soft tyres was in Singapore and I was really happy with the car then, so I’m hoping I’ll get a similar feeling from the car at Yas Marina. If you get that good feeling, it makes you so much more confident.
You ran a different strategy to most people at Interlagos and it seemed to be paying off until the engine problem; How was it from your point of view?
Brazil was a tricky race weekend overall because the track temperature changed a lot throughout the event. On Friday it was very hot, on Saturday it was cool and Sunday was expected to be similar so that was how we planned our strategy. In the race we found it extremely hard to get heat into the tyres and get them working as we wanted. In the end, that meant we had to change to a three-stop race and that cost us. In general though, we’ll explore all strategy options because we currently don’t have the pace to fight it out at the sharp end. We need to be smarter in our approach.
How are you approaching the last race of the season?
We’ve got a few upgrades coming which should give us a bit more power and with double points on offer, you never know! We are going to try our hardest to get the best result we can and create a positive mood over the winter for the team back in the factory. When things aren’t going right for you, it’s difficult on everyone so a bit of positivity will help the whole team. Pastor and I will be trying our upmost to bring back some strong points. Sometimes a bit of luck and some clever decisions is all you need to achieve great results, and that’s what we’ll be aiming for on Sunday.
What do you have planned after the season ends?
For me, I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family and there will definitely be a holiday involved! I also have a little bit of fun planned at the Race of Champions which is in Barbados this year; it will be interesting to see if I can retain my crown! At the end of a season, wherever you finish in the standings you certainly need to get some rest and relaxation to recharge the batteries and help you focus on the following season. The F1 year starts in early February with winter testing and finishes in late November so you don’t get much rest mid-season. On top of that there is a lot of traveling which saps the energy even more. Even if you’re having a great season you still need some down time. The team back at the factory have been working really hard without getting the results they deserve, so they need a break too. Then we all can come back refreshed and raring to attack the new season. We’re all looking forward to that.