Grosjean targets Red Bull scalp

© XPB 

Romain Grosjean says he is primed to challenge Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull in tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix, with the Lotus driver lining up alongside the Australian on the fourth row.

By qualifying eighth, the Frenchman maintains his perfect Q3 appearance record in 2015 though he’s yet to score a point this year.

While Grosjean admits this probably was the ultimate performance he could wring out of his E23 Hybrid on Saturday, the 28-year-old is confident Lotus’ healthy straightline speed and improved set-ups can make him a contender in the race.

“I think (P8) is probably where we are right now,” said Grosjean. “Of course, we are going to try to chase the Red Bull, which is not so good on a straight line, so it gives you always a chance and then we’ll do our best.

“Hopefully, we have a better top speed than the cars that are around us. That might help in the race.

“Yesterday was not so good, we made some big changes overnight, took some risks. But I was happier with the car this morning so we’re going in the right direction.”

Despite using the same Mercedes power unit as Williams, Grosjean ended up nearly a whole second behind the lead FW37 of Felipe Massa. The nine-time podium finisher believes this gap is due to the specific Shanghai layout, and hopes this won’t prevent him from harvesting his first points since last year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

“I think we’re just suffering a little bit more because this is a front-limited track. Historically, Lotus has been good for taking care of its rear tyres. Here, it just unbalances a little bit the whole thing.

“It’s probably a more difficult race than Malaysia in terms of where we are in performance but I’m hopeful the changes we made are going to make the difference. From there, you can score your first point. Almost a year now.”

Click here for the full report from qualifying 

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