Lotus driver Romain Grosjean believes that he is in a position to challenge for big results following a difficult start to the season.
The Frenchman has scored points in every race so far this year, and he claimed his first podium in 2013 last time out in Bahrain. Grosjean believes that this result is the turning point in his season, having taken time to get to grips with the Lotus E21 car.
“We’ve had consistency already, finishing every race in the points, but now it’s the big results we’re chasing and getting the car as I want it has been a vital ingredient,” Grosjean explained to the official Formula One website. “Now I have the tools that I want at my disposal I can really push. In some ways you can say my season starts now!”
Grosjean also underlined the importance of the team working closely together in order to challenge for both championships this season. In the constructors, Lotus currently sit P2, whilst Kimi Raikkonen is the closest challenger to drivers’ championship leader Sebastian Vettel.
“If we keep working the way we have been so far this season as a team I’m sure we can achieve great things.”
Qualifying has been Lotus’ achilles heel so far this season, but Grosjean is confident that a good result is possible at next weekend’s Spanish GP relying he can secure a good grid position.
“In Barcelona it will be important to qualify well as it will be much harder to overtake than in Bahrain. As a team, this is an area where we can still improve a little bit, but we have some ideas of how to do that and hopefully we’ll be able to make the front row.”
With four podiums now to his name, Grosjean will be expected by many to claim his first grand prix victory in 2013. If he can grace the top step of the podium, Lotus may be in a position to challenge Red Bull for the constructors’ championship.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.