• First Barcelona Test, Day Three

Race simulations a big challenge - Grosjean

ESPN Staff
February 21, 2013 « Alonso happy with how F138 reacts | Chilton able to push at Marussia »
Romain Grosjean was third fastest on Thursday at the Circuit de Catalunya © Sutton Images
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Romain Grosjean said carrying out a race simulation on the third day of testing at Barcelona was "very hard".

After Kimi Raikkonen encountered gearbox trouble on Wednesday, Grosjean helped Lotus recover by completing 119 laps and a race simulation in the afternoon. However, with all the focus being on the difficulty getting the Pirelli tyres to last in the cold conditions, Grosjean confirmed that completing a race distance had been a tough ask.

"[It was] hard, very hard!" Grosjean said. "The tyres degrade a lot, I think in the first stint I came on to the radio on lap two saying 'the tyres are dead' but I had 66 laps to do so you try to do your best, try to adapt your driving style; it's not easy to be honest. Then I think the conditions don't help, or are not representative of what we should get. The cold here doesn't make it easy for the tyres but it's very different to what we had last year and we need to change quite a lot of things to make it work perfectly."

When asked about a 24 lap stint he completed on medium tyres Grosjean admitted: "That was quite an impressive stint; again we tried to work as hard as we could and speak with the guys on the radio to see what we could do to help the tyres last longer."

One area that Grosjean was keen to highlight was that the car felt better at high-speed thanks to the Coanda exhaust design.

"High speed feels better than last year to be honest. When we swapped to the Coanda exhaust last year the car was not as easy to drive as the first one we had, but we brought it quite late and I think this year's car was a little bit more designed around that respect and it makes it quite enjoyable in to fast corners."