Romain heads into his third season as race driver for Lotus F1 Team with the confidence and experience to lead the team to greater things.
New season, new rules and new cars; how much of a challenge do you see the coming months to be?
New season, new car, news rules – everything it pretty new and our challenge is pretty big. It’s very exciting though! We don’t know exactly what’s going on and where people are, it’s the same every year when we start the season, but it’s particularly the case right now with all the changes and new rules. The changing of engines, the changing of aerodynamics, more electrical help in the car, so yes some tough work for the engineers and drivers to understand and get on top of everything as quick as we can and hopefully faster than the others.
You are going into your third season as race driver for the team; will the continuity enable you to continue to learn and grow as a driver?
I think continuity will be important this year with all the rule changes, and it’s my third year at Enstone so it feels like home. I like the team and I think we do a very good job together so I’m happy to keep going, and I’m happy that we’re together for this challenge. We have a common aim for the future and we want to win races and win Championships. We’ll work as hard as we did to achieve even more than last year. I am ready to lead the way with this challenge.
You’ve been on the podium 9 times so far. Is that first win within reach?
I don’t know when it will come, I’ve come close a few times and nine podiums with the team is a good record. We just need to keep doing our best, keep trying to optimise everything we can from the first day we have on a race track to the Sunday and to get a good car. I trust the people here to try to give me all the tools we need to achieve that win - it’s a good car, a good engine, we have good strategy, we have good engineers and mechanics, and a good driver. So I’m looking forward to try and will go for it, and the day it comes, we’ll have a big party!
What do you think of the E22 and the design team which has created it?
I like the colour of the car, it’s nice. I think with the rule change it’s very interesting to see how people have understood it, and the direction people have taken. Our guys have been pretty clever with it; I really like the idea of trying something different, and we’ll just need to see when we get to Melbourne where we are. But I really like the car, and if it’s a winning car then I will love it!
What are your targets and objectives for 2014?
Targets and objectives are always the same when you start a new season – trying to win the title. It sounds optimistic sometimes, but I think we are all here to try and win races; the team in Enstone, the team on the racetrack and myself, so we’ll do everything we can, do our best, and see if it’s good enough!
Why the number 8?
Simply I like this number, plus it has some significance to me. My wife was born the 8th of December, we started dating in 2008 and, to my eyes my son is the 8th wonder of the world. That’s why I picked up number 8.