Lotus's Romain Grosjean looks to make up for past Monaco GP woes in 2014
"Last year I completely missed my weekend," says changed Romain
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 21/05/14 3:28pm
Although a winner in GP2 on the famous streets, Lotus driver Grosjean has crashed out from both the grands prix he has competed in at the track despite showing strong pace around the torturous 3.34km lap when not running into trouble.
In 2012 the Frenchman lined up fourth on the grid but retired within seconds of the lights going out after spinning in front of the field on the approach to Ste Devote after clashing with Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher off the line.
Then last year Grosjean hit the barriers in both Practice Two and Three, and after qualifying only 16th in changeable conditions, retired from the race after running into the back of Daniel Ricciardo's Toro Rosso coming out of the tunnel - an accident which earned him a ten-place grid penalty for the following race.
But 12 months on, and with Grosjean's stock having risen sharply - Lotus boss Gerard Lopez revealed this week the Frenchman was being courted by rival teams - and the fast improving team finally registered their first points of the season a fortnight ago in Spain, the 28-year-old is aiming to make up for his previous Monte Carlo mistakes.
"I've been on pole position here in GP2, won the race in GP2, but on the other side if you look at crashes I think I have a good record and a few corners I know too well," he said wryly in the Drivers' Press Conference.
"To be fair, last year I completely missed my weekend and wherever it would have been it would have been the same story, so [I will] try not to do that again.
"Of course you have to respect the track and every mistake is more obvious than everywhere else [on the calendar]. But I've always been quick so try to keep that into my pocket but stay away from the [guard]rails!"
Having qualified a season-best fifth at Barcelona and then finished eighth in the race despite a mid-race loss of power, Grosjean is hopeful Lotus's sharp upward trend since the start of a season continues at an event the Enstone team - winners under the Renault guise in 2004 and 2006 - have traditionally fared well at.
"If you look at the trend from Melbourne we have been improving every time," he explained. "Going to Q3 for the first time in China, going to Q3 and being fifth on the grid in Barcelona.
"I think we were looking good in the race to keep the Ferraris behind but I had a little bit of a small problem, but it's good that all the work that has been done and the fact that we understand more and more our car is going in the right direction.
"Of course if you are fifth on the grid in Monaco then the race is even kind of easier to defend your position. You never know what you're going to get when you come to Monaco, it's such a specific track, but we do hope we get the same car we had in Barcelona, get in Q3 and score some more points."
The Monaco GP is live only on Sky Sports F1. The channel's extensive coverage begins with Practice on Thursday May 22.