GPl Archives 27 February 2013 Issue #59 - Page 92

ith the water wrung from his overalls, we caught up with our rather drenched Romain Grosjean for a quick warm-up coffee and a good chat about the week’s events at the Circuit de Catalunya where Formula 1 set up camp for the second week of preseason testing. W After a tricky opening day for the team, it must be satisfying to have racked up the laps during your time in the car this week? Romain Grosjean: I’ve been very lucky in that every time I’ve jumped in the car things have gone well, but the main thing is that the team has managed to get some good mileage on the board which is what we need at this point in the season. We completed a full race simulation and a bit more on top of that during my first day on track without any issues which was a big positive. Also, when you compare our performance during that long run with the other teams the pace looks competitive, so there are plenty of encouraging signs so far. What do you make of the 2013 Pirelli tyres? RG: The main thing we have noticed is that the tyres suffer from heavy degradation with graining on both the fronts and rears, whereas last season it was mainly just the rears and not to the same level. In the first stint of our race simulation I spoke to the engineers on the radio after just a few laps to tell them that the tyres were pretty much gone, but of course there were 66 laps to complete so you just have to adapt your driving style and try to get the best out of them. They’re not easy to manage for sure, but the conditions here didn’t help; the temperatures and track conditions are not really representative of what we can expect during the season and that makes a big difference to the way the tyres behave. They’re quite different to what we had last year and I think everyone will have to adapt a little to make them last. We’ve still got a bit of work to do before we fully understand the tyres, but with a good number of laps in our pocket we at least now have a better idea of what we need to do to make them work for us.