• Korean Grand Prix - Qualifying

Grosjean puzzled by tyre issues

ESPN Staff
October 13, 2012 « Raikkonen insists Lotus closer to pace | Massa keen to take fight to frontrunners »
Romain Grosjean was unhappy with the set of tyres he used in Q3 © Sutton Images
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Romain Grosjean said he could have been quicker in qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix were it not for differences between his sets of tyres.

Having made it through to Q3, Grosjean qualified seventh on the grid but over 0.3s slower than his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. Having been able to match Raikkonen in Q2, Grosjean said that the disparity was not due to the updated exhaust on Raikkonen's car but more down to trouble with his final set of supersoft tyres.

"It's difficult to say about the car spec," Grosjean said. "I think Kimi did a very good lap; mine was OK but not fantastic. We had a bit of a strange situation with the tyres to be honest. In Q1 we went nowhere with the prime and had to put on option and it was better, then Q2 was good and then Q3 didn't feel that good. So there was a little bit of changing between the sets, it's the first time I've had this feeling so it doesn't give you confidence. Then my lap was a good lap, not a fantastic lap, so I think we could have been a bit closer and then the new bits are a little bit of an advantage as well."

However, despite the tyre problem, Grosjean said he has qualified in the position he expects Lotus to be competing.

"I think looking at the deg that we had yesterday we are where we should be, more or less. The Ferrari had a very good race pace yesterday, the Red Bull and the McLaren as well, so I don't think there is much that we can do about that."

Grosjean added that he was prepared to be put under pressure by other drivers at the start of the race following multiple incidents on the first lap this year.

"It was good to come to the press conference to speak about it. For sure we cannot ignore it and as I said I'm the first one to be conscious of the risk and everything ... I think drivers will play with the fact that they know that I'm in a bit of a difficult situation - that's not a secret - but never mind. I'll do what I need to do, I've taken hundreds of starts in my life so I know how to take it ... I just need to get the right objective at the right time."