Romain Grosjean is not expecting miracles for Lotus at next weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, and is instead focusing on returning to the top ten at the Singapore Grand Prix in three weeks’ time.
The Frenchman has suffered a difficult season with Lotus thanks to the troublesome E22 car, but has risen into the role of team leader following Kimi Raikkonen’s exit at the end of last year. New teammate Pastor Maldonado is yet to record any points in 2014.
Speaking ahead of the race at Monza, Grosjean said that he expects Lotus to struggle at the high-speed circuit on the outskirts of Milan.
“I think that it will be tough for us; on paper it is not one of the races that we should do that well at,” he admitted.
“But as always we will be fighting hard and trying to get the maximum from the weekend, so that it gives us good momentum for the Singapore weekend later in September when we should be stronger and the track should suit the E22 a little better.
“We will have a one-off rear wing for Monza and the key will be to make the car as quick as possible from an aero point of view, so that we can get back some of the performance from our straight-line speed disadvantage. Then we have to manage the tire degradation.
“Also for us it will be tricky in the big corners like the Lesmos and the Ascari chicane because the less downforce you have then the more difficult it is to get good grip in the turns. It is a tough compromise but one I am sure that the team will get the best solution possible.”
The circuit should play into the hands of the Mercedes-powered teams thanks to its long straights that depend on a good top speed, much as we saw at Spa-Francorchamps.