Grosjean: I have a lot of good memories from Abu Dhabi
"There are many second gear corners which should suit the E20"
From Delhi to Abu Dhabi; Romain Grosjean talks us through his favourite parts of the Yas Marina race track, his past experience there, and what he really thinks of the new Coandă exhaust.
How was your race in India?
Honestly, I think it was one of my best races of the season, driving 100% on every lap. I made a good start and then really pushed hard to score the points, with some good overtaking moves in the race. Unfortunately I got stuck behind a Force India – just as I did in Korea – so I know the rear of that car very well! Hopefully they will see the rear of my car soon! The race was good, the car was good and the pit stop was fantastic; I think we were the second quickest pit lane entry-to-exit on the whole grid, so that is good to have in our pocket.
What’s the Yas Marina circuit like from your point of view?
Abu Dhabi is another exotic destination. The track is not used very much during the year which means we know we’re going to get low grip there at the start of the weekend. The track looks very nice on TV and there are many second gear corners which should suit the E20; I’m looking forward to it!
What’s your previous experience at the track?
I have a lot of good memories from Abu Dhabi and know it quite well. Last year I took pole position and finished second in the GP2 Asia Series race and I have also won a GT1 World Championship race there. Most recently, my return to Formula 1 came at this circuit in a free practice session with the team last year so I’m looking forward to returning. It’s normally sunny and a nice place to be. Let’s see what we can do.
You struggled for grip in India; do you think there will be better grip at start of weekend in Abu Dhabi?
Abu Dhabi may be similar to India, but we have the V8 Supercars with us so they might clean it up quite well! I hope there is a little more grip than in India because most of the time I like to brake late so when there is no grip that is a bit difficult!
You ran the Coandă exhaust system for the first time last weekend; how did it feel?
The Coandă exhaust is now much better understood. We have to do some work to try to get better results in low grip conditions, especially in qualifying - which is somewhere that I think we can improve - and then in the race the car is just very, very good as usual. So we will continue working on it and try to get some good results in Abu Dhabi. Mainly I would like to start the weekend better than in India where FP1, FP2 and FP3 were not good for me. I didn’t get the right feeling with the car immediately and it set us back for the whole weekend. I think we need to put that in order for Abu Dhabi. Our aim will be to try to start well, work hard and go into qualifying with more knowledge.
How happy are you that the team still has developments arriving on the car this late in the season?
It’s very satisfying. Clearly for us – and for everybody else on the grid – it is important. We’re getting some new parts in Abu Dhabi which we are looking forward to and everything we find now that works on the car we can use for next year. The development process is on-going; both for the present and future.