Romain Grosjean says the loss of the FRIC suspension system for the German Grand Prix has been a “big change” for the Lotus outfit.
The Enstone-based outfit was one of the first to introduce the system and Grosjean believes Lotus has lost the most from its removal. The Frenchman qualified for tomorrow’s race in 15th place and was pleased with making it to the second session.
“We set ourselves the target of getting into Q2 and we achieved that, so that’s a very good job from the guys,” he said. “We’re still not quite where we’d like to be; it’s not ideal to be out of the top ten but the car doesn’t feel too bad.
“We’ve just lost some downforce. The team were one of the first ones to use the interlinked suspension system so removing it is a big change.
“For the race tomorrow, there’s a chance the weather might change – everything can help so we’ll take the situation as it comes and make the most of it.”
Grosjean admitted that he lost time at the final corner on his last lap and felt he could have finished ahead of Esteban Gutierrez, who ended Q2 in 14th.
His team-mate Pastor Maldonado is also feeling the difference. “We are still working on gaining back some of the performance we have lost from the changes to the suspension,” said the Venezuelan, who qualified in 19th.
“I think we can recover this pace, but it’s certainly affecting us. It’s a case of looking at every detail of how the suspension works without being connected as it was before and how this affects the aerodynamics.
“We’re working hard to put everything together and we should gain a few tenths that will put us back into fighting position. The race tomorrow is long and could be very hard, but we’ll keep pushing as always to get the best result we can.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic