Romain Grosjean says it feels “really great” to secure his second points finish on the trot during Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, especially after Lotus suffered a tough start to its Sakhir weekend .
Lining up in tenth, the Frenchman immediately gained a position when sixth-placed Felipe Massa failed to get off the grid and had to start from the pit lane. Grosjean then made the most of his two-strategy to progress through the field en route to P7 under the chequered flag.
Such strong result had looked extremely unlikely as late as Saturday’s FP3 with the 29-year-old - Romain celebrated his birthday on Friday - languishing down in 18th behind the wheel of his E23.
But a raft of changes, including reverting to an older spec of the car's rear end, allowed Grosjean and Lotus to recover and make their fourth Q3 appearance in as many events this year.
The nine-time podium finisher is quite impressed with how the Enstone-based team has managed to turn things around over such short period of time.
“It had been a tough weekend until now for me, so it was really great to get another strong seventh position,” said Grosjean. “Today’s race was great, especially as there was lots of overtaking.
“It was a good recovery from Friday and Saturday’s session and I’ll happily take seventh place as my birthday gift for myself and the team.”
Although Grosjean had expected to quickly get past the Renault-powered cars ahead of him on the grid, tyre degradation meant he could not respond to Red Bull’s pace.
“I was really hoping to catch Daniel Ricciardo but he was too quick for us today. It was quite difficult to manage tyres, especially with the rears so I think we did a good job to make the two-stop strategy work.
“We only had new medium compound tyres for the race, the rest were scrubbed, so it really was a great job by the team.