Lotus must improve its qualifying performances if it aims to win its first race of the Formula One season, says reigning GP2 champion Romain Grosjean.
“We need to qualify better, that is not our strength this season but we are working on it,” said the Frenchman. “If we are able to have a strong weekend from the beginning, we are able to fight for the podium and even for victory,” he was quoted as saying by Globo.
The Enstone-based F1 team has impressed sporadically over the season, with Grosjean finishing second at the Canadian Grand Prix last weekend, but poor grid positions have been a major factor in Lotus’ performance. Lotus has not started a single Grand Prix this season from the front row of the grid.
Lotus’ technical director James Allison told Autosport that even a small improvement on the team’s pace in Toronto last Saturday could propel it into a higher gear. "We've often been devastatingly fast on the harder of the tyres in qualifying but then come up a bit short on the softer option; that's an issue we're working on at the moment," he said. "You can point to cars on the grid that are very quick in qualifying but not so competitive in the race and vice-versa.
"We seem to have a car that is not among the very quickest in qualifying at the moment but has very good race pace. It's not a bad combination, and we'd rather have it this way round than the other, but if we want to win races we are going to have to improve our qualifying performances. It's not going to take much, we just need that little bit extra if we want to challenge for higher honours."