• Jerez Test, Day One

E21 better than expected for Grosjean

ESPN Staff
February 5, 2013 « 'Times mean nothing right now' - Button | McLaren's time 'looks strong' - Webber »
Romain Grosjean completed 54 laps on day one © Getty Images
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Romain Grosjean said the performance of the new Lotus E21 was "even better" than he'd been expecting on the opening day of the first test.

Grosjean was third quickest on the first day at Jerez, just under a second slower than Jenson Button's McLaren and less than 0.1s off Mark Webber's Red Bull. While Grosjean was keen not to directly compare the feeling with this year's car and last year's E20, he did say he'd found it was a strong base to start from.

"It's difficult to compare; we'll say it's a step forward so in a way it's a better start," Grosjean said. "Yes, McLaren were very quick at the end of the day which is good for us to know a little bit about how quick they can go and if we can simulate what they are doing but the feelings are there and the car is good.

"I would say even better [than expected] to be honest. The first feelings were very, very good. It's sort of a long time since drove last time and a short time at the same time. But by lap three or lap four I was already on the pace and the car was good without any set-up work on it so it's a good start."

With Lotus employing Coanda-effect exhausts from the outset this season, Grosjean said it gave the car more rear-end grip.

"More grip, more consistency and there's a few things we want to look at with those exhausts. We took a little bit of philosophy from the other teams but this is what is working and it was good for us to finish last year with the Coanda exhausts to try to understand them and put them on this year's car and on a car that is sort of more together. It's more or less similar to last year, if anything a little bit better."