Grosjean: Lotus pace is real

© XPB 

Romain Grosjean insists Lotus’ pace “has been very good all weekend long”, after he and team-mate Pastor Maldonado qualified fifth and sixth respectively for Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.

The Frenchman was already quick in free practice as he set the third fastest time in both FP1 and FP3 around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, challenging both Ferrari and Williams on merit.

Although Grosjean hoisted his Mercedes-powered E23 Hybrid to P1 in the opening phase of qualifying, he eventually had to be content with starting the race from the third row.

“To be fair, the pace we’ve shown since FP1 has been very representative,” said Grosjean.“Because in qualifying, everyone is on the same fuel load pushing hard and we are 12 hundredths from the Ferrari, so it’s very realistic.

“We were P1 and P3 [in Q1 and Q2|, this morning again P3, so just in front of the Ferraris. I had a perfect lap in Q2, which allowed me to be P3 and my last run was probably hurt by the preparation but generally our pace has been very good all weekend long.”

While Grosjean felt he could have qualified slightly higher, the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix podium finisher is happy to start from the clean side of the grid and thinks he can race fourth-placed Valtteri Bottas on Sunday.

“P5 is better than P4. If everything had been perfect, third would have been possible but, coming here, five and six is already a very good result.

“[Long run pace] felt pretty good in free practice. We did one [simulation] yesterday in the morning and the car felt great. We did it on the soft tyre, and there was no big degradation.

“So it’s quite consistent around here. It was better than the Williams, so hopefully it will be better during the race.”

Click here for Friday's gallery from the Canadian Grand Prix

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