Lotus’ Romain Grosjean is upbeat about his prospects of scoring his first points’ finish in almost a year after qualifying eighth-fastest for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix.

The Frenchman outpaced teammate Pastor Maldonado to make the Q3 cut for the second time this season, and paid credit to a last-minute “big risk” decision to significantly change his car’s set-up before qualifying.

While Grosjean – who handed over his car to reserve driver Jolyon Palmer for Friday’s opening practice session – finished inside the top-ten in both practice sessions, he wasn’t confident about his qualifying chances.

“We made some big changes overnight, took some risks, but I was happier with the car this morning and it was going in the right direction. I think there is a clear line of what we need to do on the car to go quicker, we just have to find how to do that,” he said after qualifying.

“I think eighth is probably where we are right now. We are going to chase the Red Bull, which is not so good in a straight line, so that always gives you a chance and then we do our best. I am confident the changes overnight are going to make a difference and I can score my first point in almost a year!”

Grosjean’s last top-ten finish came at last year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Image via Lotus F1 Team

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Geoff Burke

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