Grosjean: Lotus not far off Red Bull aerodynamically
Romain Grosjean is convinced Lotus will be close to fellow Renault outfit Red Bull once it has accumulated more mileage with the E22.
Red Bull has had well-documented problems like Lotus, but the world champions clearly possess a quick car and are perhaps the benchmark for other Renault teams. Lotus had a weekend to forget in Melbourne as it struggled with issues surrounding the Energy Recovery System and the brake-by-wire, but Grosjean insists the team believes it is closer to Red Bull than the opening weekend suggested.
"The numbers are good but so far we are too far to be able to tell you," Grosjean said. "We have seen interesting things from the race. If we put two and two together we are not far off the Red Bull. But that's putting two and two together. If we can achieve that on track or start to get back close to Red Bull it will mean we are at a very good level again. We have to take it step by step and remember to stay patient on the essential bits."
Grosjean is under no illusions that the team will struggle again in Malaysia but he believes the team will have made an improvement, saying "Yes, I hope so!" when asked if he expected Lotus to qualify higher than final two spaces on the grid.
"I don't want to be too confident or too careful," he added. "I just want to jump in the car, drive, and see the power unit is responding better, and the state of charge and the fuel management is important, see the braking system is improved and we can use the tyres properly too; if we do those three things it will be a big step forward.
Grosjean is pleased the team has shown such character despite falling so far behind over the winter.
"I think to be honest we are doing a good job. We are not 700 people like McLaren people and there are things we need to prioritise. The team is not saying 'oh, drop it, it's going to be a bad year', everyone wants to believe we can fight for points and why not get on the podium. We don't have the budget of the four big teams, we know that, we are just paying a little bit for what happened in the past. Hopefully we can get things right."