Romain Grosjean is remaining extremely confident ahead of tomorrow’s 53-lap Japanese Grand Prix, after the Frenchman once again out-qualified team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. The 27-year-old will start the race alongside the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton in 4th position, behind the ever-competitive Red Bull duo on the first row.
During the latter half of the season Romain Grosjean has unquestionably improved within the Lotus team, as the Frenchman aims to maintain his drive with the Enstone-based outfit amid Kimi Raikkonen’s return to Ferrari next season. Since the news that the 2007 World Champion would return to the Scuderia, Romain Grosjean has begun to shine behind the wheel of the Renault-powered E21. Despite frustratingly being forced into retirement at the Singapore Grand Prix last month, Romain Grosjean has enjoyed an extremely competitive run of form which has consisted of three successive top four qualifying results and a strong 3rd place at the Korean Grand Prix.
Already the likable Frenchman has proven to be on the pace around the legendary Suzuka circuit, after ending Q1 fastest on hard tyres and also producing competitive lap times in final practice earlier in the morning. This time last season Romain Grosjean’s future in the sport was still uncertain, after a flurry of opening lap skirmishes which included a collision with Red Bull’s Mark Webber at the start of last year’s Japanese Grand Prix. With Lotus still undecided on their line-up for 2014, Romain Grosjean will unquestionably be striving to excel during tomorrow’s 53-lap Japanese Grand Prix in his quest for yet another podium finish.
“The Red Bulls have looked very strong and we knew it would be tight with Lewis [Hamilton] for P3, so I think we did a good job to take P4.” Enthused Romain Grosjean, “The car feels much better than it did yesterday; especially on the hard tyres which we had been struggling with previously but were then fastest with in Q1 today. The team worked hard to address this overnight and we’ve shown great progress through the weekend once again. It’s a tight, technical circuit, the wind is still making things tricky and it should stay pretty hot, so it’ll be interesting to see what we can do in the race. I’m feeling pretty good.”
Romain Grosjean has now managed to out-qualify team-mate Kimi Raikkonen during the last three races at Singapore, Korea and now Japan, with the Frenchman clearly showcasing his ability as a team leader to the Enstone-based outfit. However, he has yet to finish ahead of Kimi Raikkonen since the Italian Grand Prix, with the Finn still able to rise through the order despite several poor qualifying performances of late. Once again the Finn will be aiming to scythe his way through the pack during tomorrow’s race, however Romain Grosjean will equally be aiming to interfere with Lewis Hamilton and the Red Bulls at the front.
Picture Copyright © Lotus F1 Team