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Romain Grosjean was upbeat as he topped the timesheets in Barcelona on Thursday. The Franco-Swiss drove the Lotus E20 for the first time since the Enstone squad revised its front suspension, having missed almost the whole test of last week.
Despite the obvious loss of time, Grosjean is confident that the former World Champion outfit made the best of what has become a damage limitation exercise this winter.
“We need to work twice as hard to get those days back,” he told gathered journalists, including GPUpdate.net. “Okay, we have missed some running, but it’s not as bad as we could have expected.
“Last year, the challenge of the front exhaust was pretty big; it worked quite well at the beginning, but the team realised quite early that the development of the car would be really tough with that choice. This year, we have to bring new pieces to every race – even if it’s just half a tenth, it will make the difference after 20 Grands Prix.”
Grosjean did admit that some smaller parts will now have to be tested on the opening Grand Prix weekend of the season in Australia.
“For sure, we will not be able to test as much as we would like, but I think the main and the biggest test we want to do before Melbourne will be done - and that’s a good point,” he began to sum up. “If it’s a question of balance or something like that, you can do it on Friday and Saturday morning.”
Like team-mate Kimi Räikkönen, Grosjean is returning to Formula 1 for the first time since 2009. He is now the reigning GP2 Champion, having won with Eric Boullier’s DAMS team.
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