Grosjean: Bad F1 pre-season to blame for suspension woes
|By Ben Anderson||Friday, June 6th 2014, 09:49 GMT|
Romain Grosjean feels a lack of preparation and time between races are the reasons for the Lotus Formula 1 team's struggles to get its car's mechanical set-up right.
Grosjean has scored points in each of the last two races, held on very different types of circuit, but Lotus struggled for speed in Monaco after being genuinely competitive in Spain.
The Enstone squad is expecting another tough race in Canada this weekend, because the nature of the Montreal circuit will not suit its E22.
Lotus became particularly good at managing Pirelli's tyres in recent seasons, but Grosjean said a combination of different tyre constructions for this year, plus a disastrous pre-season for his team, had robbed it of this competitive advantage.
"We've seen in Monaco the suspension and mechanical grip was not as good as we thought," Grosjean admitted, when asked by AUTOSPORT why he could be set for a tough weekend in Canada.
"Some of it is due to the new tyre construction, and some of it is due to the fact we didn't have the time to check everything we wanted.
"It's a package. The car came late, so you don't have time to put it on the rig, then you go overseas and the car was in Bahrain, flew straight to Australia, Malaysia, Bahrain, China, then come back for a week and a half before Barcelona, and then after Monaco we finally have time to put it on the rig - but it's six races gone.
"The car has been one week on the seven-post rig, and some initial things have been seen, so hopefully we will have a step forwards.
"But there's still some work we need to do to understand why there is such a difference compared to last year."
NO EXTREME SET-UP
Grosjean said Lotus would resist the urge to try an extreme set-up to combat Renault's power disadvantage to Mercedes, after feeling it trimmed too much downforce from its car last year.
"Last year that's what we tried and it didn't work at all," he added.
"I was P3 in FP1 and FP2 and we thought our top speed was not good enough.
"We tried a new wing set-up that we didn't know and it was a bad choice.
"You can try to get rid of some downforce but it affects the corners, so there's a big advantage for Mercedes power units.
"We know what we can do and which extreme we tried to go, we'll go for less downforce but if it's too much then we'll have to come back a little bit.
"You learn from mistakes in the past."