Romain Grosjean is pleased to have returned to form during qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix following two difficult races at Spa and Monza.
The Frenchman finished eighth in both the Belgian and Italian Grands Prix despite the circuits working against the strengths of the E21 car. In Singapore though, Lotus appear to have bounced back as Grosjean excelled in qualifying to finish P3 on Saturday, less than two-tenths off pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel.
“If we look at how many laps we did in the whole weekend so far, P3 in the qualy is not too bad,” Grosjean said in the press conference on Saturday.
“We knew we were strong this morning. I think we got a little bit caught by the night coming on and it was a little bit less quick than the fast time we expected in Q1 but nevertheless I think the team did a good decision about the strategy and the cut-off and everything, so then we had two attempts in Q3. It’s good to be at the front in this grand prix.”
Having endured a difficult first year with Lotus in 2012, Grosjean has established himself as a regular point-scorer in 2013, claiming two podiums so far this season and scoring points in all of the last four races. Should he continue this form, it is possible that he could lead the team next season when Kimi Raikkonen departs Enstone for Ferrari.
Daniel Ricciardo believes Red Bull stands a “decent chance” of signing off from the 2017 Formula 1 season with a victory in next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
After a slow start to the year, Red Bull made massive gains across the course of the season by developing its RB13 to end the season as front-runners, rivaling Mercedes and Ferrari for pace.
The Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi has a number of slow-speed sections that should suit the RB13 car, with Ricciardo optimistic about his chances of not only ending his podium drought at the track, but even winning the race.
“Yas Marina has actually been one of my favorite tracks over the years,” Ricciardo said in Red Bull’s pre-race preview.
“It’s been a bit like Suzuka for me though, a track that I’ve always enjoyed and gone well on but not quite reached the podium at. I broke that trend in Suzuka this year so hopefully I can do the same in Abu Dhabi.
“When you have so much time away from the car in the off season it helps to sign off with a strong result as it makes you feel like you really deserve a break.
“I think we should have a strong car in Abu Dhabi. I said I want another win before the season is out and I think we have a decent chance of achieving that.”
Red Bull has claimed three race wins through 2017, with Ricciardo’s victory in Azerbaijan being followed up by successes for teammate Max Verstappen in Malaysia and Mexico.