• German Grand Prix

New driver line-up hampers Lotus - Grosjean

ESPN Staff
July 19, 2012 « Massa focusing on staying at Ferrari | 'I've learned a little bit from my mistakes' - Maldonado »
Romain Grosjean thinks a lack of previous data with the drivers put Lotus on the back foot each weekend © Press Association
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Romain Grosjean believes that Lotus' new driver line-up is one of the reasons that it is yet to win a race in 2012.

Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen replaced Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna over the winter, and have been part of an upturn in fortunes for Lotus as the team has already scored five podiums and sits third in the constructors' championship. However, with five constructors' having won races, Lotus is yet to secure a victory, and Grosjean said that the fact that the other teams have settled driver line-ups leaves Lotus playing catch-up each weekend.

"You need some luck, it's true, but there are teams like Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, who have been working with their drivers for three, four, five years," Grosjean said. "They really know each other, they have data from the previous years, they know when they go on the racetrack where they want to start. Our two drivers, we are new with the team, so sometimes when we start the race weekend we take data from the previous year, but it's not you who was in the car so you need a little bit of time to adapt. And this little bit of time that you need sometimes means that in the end you are not perfect.

"I'm sure that next year if everything goes well and I'm still with the team and so on then we'll have data from this year and then we'll know 'OK at this race we need that, that and that'; that makes a big difference in the end so you can start with the best set-up that you had the previous year and then you can know what was working and what was not working. That gives you a bit of free time to work on different things and get everything perfect."

Despite that issue, Grosjean insists the car is quick enough to win a race and believes he could have been victorious last time out in Silverstone but for a first-lap collision that forced him to pit.

"In a perfect scenario, yes [Lotus could have won]. If you take everything and just remove the problem then yes, we could have. But then there's a lot of things you could have done; ifs and buts. That's the way it is, we were lucky that we chose the right strategy after the first lap incident and second lap pit-stop, and we were lucky that the car was good and we could score points with two drivers. That was a really good comeback but I'm sure we could have done better."