Romain Grosjean had his hopes of a competitive qualifying result dashed during Q2, as the heavy and persistent rain returned at the start of the segment. Despite the heavier rain and hail shower prior to the start of Q1, the opening segment was a much more positive affair for the Frenchman.
After enduring a frustrating morning in the third and final practice session, which was run in drying weather conditions, Grosjean and Lotus entered the all-important qualifying prepared for a tough afternoon with the weather conditions changing rapidly from one hour to the next. Although the Frenchman managed to progress to the second segment, unlike team-mate Pastor Maldonado who spun at the Bus-Stop as the rain returned towards the end of Q1, Grosjean’s progress was brought to a conclusion by a thoroughly uncompetitive Q2.
The Frenchman was quick to return to the track once Q2 got underway, becoming the first driver to leave the dry confines of the pits in the Lotus. However, after completing the initial benchmark of the segment, Grosjean’s afternoon quickly deteriorated with a spin at La Source and an overall lack of competitiveness as the rain intensified and the track conditions worsened. Speaking after qualifying, Grosjean explained the stark contrast in the car between the first two segments.
“In Q1 it wasn’t too bad,” explained Grosjean to Richland F1 after qualifying. “The car felt ok, with those tyres the grip always goes away unfortunately but it was alright. In Q2 the grip level was nowhere near where it was in Q1, there was a lot of front locking and the rear of the car was all over the place. There was basically not enough grip, we know that when there’s more water on the track we are struggling more. It was quite a big step to Q2 from Q1.”
When asked whether he still believes securing points in the 44-lap race is unlikely, the 28-year-old remained certain that such an eventuality would still be very difficult. Although another day plagued by rain showers could allow the Enstone-based outfit to adopt varying strategies, Grosjean is unsure it would make much of a difference to his and team’s hopes of points.
“It’s going to be very difficult,” continued the Frenchman to Richland F1. “If it’s wet then there’s always a strategy choice or differences that you can make.”
Currently Romain Grosjean has managed to score all eight of the team’s points, with team-mate Pastor Maldonado still yet to open his point scoring account.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic