Downbeat Grosjean wary of Lotus regression

By on Friday, September 5, 2014
Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team

Romain Grosjean cut a downbeat figure following a difficult practice session at Monza, ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, in which the Frenchman suffered from several off-track excursions and struggled for pace.

Grosjean was 20th fastest, ahead of only the Caterham drivers, and missed the first session in favour of reserve driver Charles Pic.

"It wasn’t an easy day," he told reporters, including

"I was predicting that maybe Marussia would be quicker than we are, which is not far to be the case. They are quite good in low speed, they were quite good in Monaco. They have the Ferrari engine which has made some good progress. On paper I don’t think it is that much of a bad car around here.

"We had some small issues this afternoon. There was a problem with the engine. I went wide [at Lesmo] and damaged some part of the floor which cost me some lap time in the low fuel run, but generally the car is not good at this type of track. I think the challenge will be to get into Q2. We may just be on the cut off.

"We might find a little bit of performance but in general it is going to be very tight. It’s no big surprise unfortunately. We are behind schedule in terms of development of the car. We had to focus a lot on the power unit and the cooling and that put us on the back foot in terms of developing the performance. We’ve spent a lot of resources and a lot of time to improve the cooling which was one of the main issues. That put us completely out of schedule in terms of development."

When asked whether he could score points again this season, a feat he has not achieved since the Monaco Grand Prix in May, Grosjean joked "maybe if there is a typhoon in Japan!"

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