Grosjean holding hopes of podium finish in Montreal

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Lotus driver Romain Grosjean is holding hopes of a first podium finish since the 2013 United States Grand Prix in Montreal after enjoying a strong qualifying performance at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Saturday.

The British team has frequently appeared in the top five on the timesheets across the course of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, and continued its good form in qualifying as Grosjean qualified fifth ahead of teammate Pastor Maldonado.

After switching to Mercedes power units for the 2015 season and overhauling the E23 Hybrid car, Lotus has enjoyed far better pace even if its results are yet to live up to its potential.

Speaking after qualifying on Saturday, Grosjean was delighted with the result and revealed he has faint hopes of a podium finish in Montreal

“It’s great for the team, we’ve been competitive since our first lap here this weekend, staying in the top seven all the time,” Grosjean said.

“The car’s been feeling great today; P1 in Q1, P3 in Q2 and finally P5 to start tomorrow. I think everything has been working very well and it’s good that both cars are up there.

“Tomorrow it’s a tough race, for the brakes definitely, but generally too so we need to care of that but it’s the same for everyone.

“A podium finish would be fantastic – we can hope – but a top five will be really great. We’ll do our best as always and we’ll see how we get on.”

Maldonado was just as upbeat with the result, but will be hoping to convert it into his first points finish of the season on Sunday.

“We were expecting this kind of result after yesterday’s practice,” Maldonado said. “The performance of the car here seems to be slightly better than at the other tracks.

“It may be due to a characteristic of our car for this kind of track with the slow corners and very long, fast straights. It’s positive for the team to have both cars on the third row.

“It’s a long race, we have good pace but the others are competitive too. Normally, we have better pace in the races than in qualifying which is encouraging. We’ll do our race, push hard as always and hopefully get a good result.”

The Canadian Grand Prix is live from 2pm ET on NBC today, with F1 Countdown starting at 1:30pm ET on NBCSN.