A rough weekend in Shanghai got better for Romain Grosjean in qualifying, as the Lotus pilot advanced into Q3 and wound up with a sixth-place starting position for the Chinese Grand Prix.
The Frenchman won’t be too far away from teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who qualified on the front row alongside pole sitter Lewis Hamilton. But it appeared for a time that Grosjean would have a much longer climb ahead of him on race day. He struggled with a lack of downforce during Friday practice, and in FP3 on Saturday, he was only 18th-quickest.
But the Lotus team’s efforts to solve the issues paid off in quals, and that makes Grosjean more confident of a good day out on Sunday.
“Friday was difficult and we missed some time on Saturday morning so it’s been a challenging weekend, but I’m finally back in business,” he said on Saturday.
“We’ve been chasing some small problems here and there, but the engineers have been working hard and did a fantastic job to get the car to where it is now. My first lap on options in Q1 was actually my first of the weekend with those tyres so we had to guess a little on the set up, but I think we did pretty well. Of course you always want to do better, but overall I’m pleased. The car was much better this afternoon, so let’s see what we can do in the race.”