Problems for both Renault and Lotus - Grosjean
Romain Grosjean is putting a brave face on Lotus' continued struggles, as issues on both the team's and Renault's side of the garage limited him to another paltry return during Friday practice.
In the morning session neither Grosjean or Pastor Maldonado recorded a time due to an issue with the Renault engine. While Maldonado's car stayed in the garage in the second session, Grosjean made it out on track, only to twice have his progress impeded by getting stuck in second gear. Though frustrated, Grosjean believes each issue brings them slightly closer to where they want to be.
"We have to work and then try and solve our issues," he said. "Every time we do some more mileage we had more issues. This morning it was 100% Renault issue, so we couldn't do any laps. This afternoon we burned a cable and that broke a gearbox, which was a stupid thing. We burnt it, came back in, went back out but the bearings were broken from the first time."
Grosjean joked that the memory of 2013, where he recorded six podium finishes, is helping to keep him positive this season.
"Luckily I had a good season last year! As a driver I don't get out of the car and say 'I'm not working anymore!' Of course you swear a little bit in your head but at the moment it is only the second race of the season. We know we started on the back foot, we know we have problems, we just have to take it step by step. We knew we were not good in terms of core engine. It's not perfect. It's a little better than when our brake-by-wire was not working. We knew tyres would be a problem but we can't understand them with a good run."
Though it looks like there is a long road ahead of them Grosjean is convinced Lotus still has plenty of time to turn things around.
"I honestly hope we can do some more work tomorrow in qualy, and then we go to Bahrain, so I hope we will catch up step by step but I am unable to tell you we are good from Barcelona onwards. It might be that we say 'that was the problem' or discover a better management of the charge and then everything is perfect. It could take longer, we don't know. If our car is running, and Renault brings us more performance and more consistency in reliability, and we do our homework then yes we can catch up. I don't want to say we can be fighting for podiums in races but we can certainly get closer to a decent level."