Outgoing Lotus driver Romain Grosjean has praised his squad for its efforts in 2015, saying it is “crazy” how well the Enstone team has done in light of a general lack of car upgrades.
Lotus’ 2015 car, the E23, received little in the way of upgrades due to financial issues and its uncertain future in Formula 1.
But despite staggered development, the team’s first podium of the campaign came in the 11th race at Spa, courtesy of Grosjean, who also managed to reach Q3 12 times in 16 rounds.
“It’s actually quite crazy, if you think that the car we had in Belgium is the same as we had in Melbourne,” the Frenchman said. “A few tweaks here and there, but no big updates.
“And we are still capable, or even in Russia, getting in the top ten in the qualifying. And we are doing great – the baseline was really good from the beginning, there was a lot of potential to be developed, but, as you know, the situation was what it was.”
Grosjean, who has been tied with the Enstone squad since 2006, admitted he will miss the people working for the team when he makes the change to Haas next year.
“I spent 10 of my years of my life in Enstone,” he recalled with a smile. “Got to Formula 1, they fired me once, I came back, made my way through, crashed a few times, got 10 podiums.
“In the end, they gave me a lot, I gave them a lot – we’re gonna split equal, but I wish success for the team.
“Everyone who leaves it can tell you that it’s been great. I’m gonna miss the guys, of course, but I won’t be too far in the paddock – can come there for coffee or so.”
Cautiously optimistic about Mexico
Grosjean admitted that he could be in for a difficult race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, but suggested that the track’s characteristics were reminiscent of other circuits where Lotus has performed strongly in 2015.
“[The track is] gonna be very hard on the brakes – the density of the air makes the cooling of the engine, the breaks and the aerodynamics tricky, I think.
“The tyre [compounds] are probably a bit of a conservative choice but at the end, there are characteristics of Canada, of Spa-Francorchamps a little bit, so let’s hope it works as well as it did there.”
While Spa yielded Lotus’ only podium of 2015 so far, Montreal featured its best qualifying effort, with Grosjean taking fifth and teammate Pastor Maldonado in sixth.