Romain Grosjean admits that he is still looking for a connection with his Lotus E21.
Grosjean has scored points in all three races, but sits 38 points behind team-mate Kimi Raikkonen
“I would be lying if I said the car is exactly where I want it and we are having quite an adventure to get the setup and feeling from the car how we want it. This is very frustrating for a driver, as you want your car to be obedient – to do what you want it to do – and to do it in a consistent manner,” said Grosjean.
“Certainly, we’re not the only team who are having a difficult time early in the season, but it’s something we really want to get on top of as quickly as possible. I’m spending a lot of time with my engineers and we’re all working hard to make improvements.”
Grosjean scored his maiden podium in Bahrain last season, and although he admits getting his E21 to work is vital, he sees little reason why he cannot finish in the top three this weekend.
“The priority is to find that connection with the car. I want to be right up there fighting for podiums and showing the speed I showed last year. Hopefully we’ll get there soon, and I think Bahrain would be the ideal place to really start getting some good points or even a return to the podium. We’ve been quick there before, so there’s no reason why we can’t do it again.”
Team principal Eric Boullier defended Grosjean’s start to the season, citing comparisons with the ‘gifted’ Kimi Raikkonen.
“Romain faces the very tough challenge of driving the same car as one of the most gifted driver around in Kimi; a driver with tremendous experience who returned to the sport last year and was very good straight away,” he said.
“Kimi’s been excellent from the start of 2013. He gives everything you want from a driver at every moment on track. This will be frustrating for Romain at times as it’s very, very difficult to beat the Kimi who arrives at the track this season, but it’s also a tremendous opportunity as he’s learning from the very best. If he can learn these lessons whilst bringing home points for the team, then he’s doing the job we want from him.”