MELBOURNE, March 13th, 2014 (F1Plus / Jacob Polychronis) French driver Romain Grosjean delivered an honest judgment on the situation facing his troubled Lotus F1 on Thursday at Albert Park.
Lotus endured a disastrous pre-season in which they covered the least mileage out of all their competitors. Subsequently, Grosjean admits that a competitive finish in the season’s opener is entirely out of the question.
“At the moment we are far off being the favourite and far off being in good position.”
“There’s a lot of unknown, there’s a lot of things we wanted to do but didn’t.”
Considering the team’s lack of development in pre-season, failing to complete Sunday’s race distance is a distinct possibility for the Lotus duo. Nonetheless, retirement is not the main concern for Grosjean.
“Honestly I prefer to lead the race for 20 laps and break everything rather than being far off the pace but finishing.” He said.
This scenario is redundant however, considering the Frenchman couldn’t definitively answer if his vehicle will simply make it past turn one on Sunday.
“I think it can [make it to turn one], then we will see…honestly I have no idea.”
A small slice of hope
Grosjean’s new team-mate, Pastor Maldonado, confirmed that the team has managed to install some slight upgrades to the car though.
“We have some aerodynamic upgrades and even some new mechanical parts.”
It is the likelihood of rain over the weekend however, that best represents hope for Lotus. Rain typically acts as an equaliser in the sport of Formula One which is perhaps why Maldonado viewed the otherwise undesirable conditions favourably.
“For us I think it’s (a wet race) better but we will see.”
Life without Boullier
Grosjean also took some time to reflect on what will be his first race at Lotus F1 without former Team Principal, Eric Boullier, by his side.
“He was a good support and a friend at the end of the story – it is strange to see him in grey.
Regardless, Grosjean viewed the positive side to his ended partnership with his compatriot.
“I think I can fly with my own wings and it will be good to compete against him.”