Q&A with Romain Grosjean
"Silverstone is challenging, but it has a good feel"
Romain Grosjean previews the British Grand Prix expectant to reverse the recent trend of difficult Grands Prix at the circuit closest to home, Silverstone.
How do you like Silverstone?
It’s a fantastic track with a lot of high speed corners which should suit the E22 a lot better than the circuits we’ve visited recently which have seemed to jump on every weakness with our current package.
How frustrating was the gearbox issue which put you to the back of the grid in Austria?
I would be lying if I said it wasn’t frustrating! It was one of those things where an electronic part argued with a mechanical part and I ended up starting from the pit lane as a result. In a way that gives you an auto reset as anything you achieve in the race is a benefit so I got my head down and did the best I could, even if there were other gremlins trying to attack me in the car too.
How was the performance on track?
Austria really didn’t play to our strengths, but then we did see other teams in similar situations. We had brake issues so it was a race where I had to stay focused on what I was doing and every lap seemed like a new experience as you never knew quite what to expect!
What do you think of Silverstone?
I won there in the GP2 Series in 2011, so I have to say I quite like it! I scored points there in my F1 debut but then last year my race wasn’t so good there. This means I must be due a good result.
Why is Silverstone rated as one of the favourite circuits for many drivers?
Silverstone is challenging, but it has a good feel. It’s one of the quickest tracks of the year. There are corners which are legendary like the Magotts, Becketts, Chapel complex. It’s quite a feeling going through there and I can’t wait to feel that sensation once more. It’s also a special Grand Prix for the team as the factory is very close to the track. It’s always nice to see not only the race team, but also some of the many people from the factory come to see us out in action. It’s thanks to all their hard work that we’re out on track and they are all doing an amazing job, always working so hard. I will be in the factory before and after the race so it really does have a feeling of a home event.
How is it as a driver visiting the factory?
It’s still a magical experience as you know there are so many people and so many resources just to make two cars that you and your team-mate will race around the world. It’s such a privileged position to be in and everyone at every level in Enstone does an amazing job. For sure, this year has been difficult as our performance has not been where we want it to be, but everyone gets their heads down and keeps working towards getting us to our goal.
What’s easy about a Silverstone weekend?
It’s not far to go from home so I can sleep in my own bed and be with my family. It’s nice to have a Grand Prix where you don’t have to visit an airport and it’s nice to be close to the factory where you know everyone is working their hardest to give you the best car possible.
What is difficult about a Silverstone weekend?
Over the years there’s been quite a bit of wet weather over the weekend, and this was not so much of a surprise to the Englishmen I’ve spoken to! I live quite near to the track now and my experience of regularly visiting Enstone means that I know the weather can change quite a lot. An English summer’s day is wonderful, but sometimes you have to look hard to find one! That said, it’s looked pretty good so far this year. Certainly, it’s fantastic to be at Silverstone when the weather is good and the fans are all out.