In Davide Valsecchi's latest exclusive column on Crash.net, the Lotus F1 Team third driver and 2012 GP2 Series Champion reflects on the races in Singapore, Korea and Japan as the Enstone-based team looks to end the year on a high...
The last time I wrote to you was at the end of the European season, which had been a difficult spell for the Lotus F1 Team.
The races in Belgium and Italy hadn't been kind in terms of results and we'd lost ground in the Constructors' Championship, which meant we needed to try and fight back when we got to Singapore for F1's annual night race.
The race turned out to be one of mixed emotions for the team. Kimi [Raikkonen] put in a really good performance after a difficult qualifying session to finish on the podium, but it was really disappointing for Romain [Grosjean].
He had been quick all weekend and it looked like a podium finish could have been possible in the race but then a technical problem with the engine forced him to retire. I don't think he could have won the race, as I think Sebastian Vettel
and Red Bull
were unbeatable that evening, but he could certainly have finished second or third.
When he came back to the paddock, he was obviously disappointed and the whole team was disappointed for him, because he deserved more. However, he would fight back well in the races that followed...
A lot of the talk after Singapore wasn't about the actual race, but more about what happened afterwards with Fernando Alonso
and Mark Webber.
On one hand, I thought it was a great move that put on a good show for everyone that was watching. Webber was very brave to jump on Alonso's car for a ride back! However, the way Alonso stopped to collect him was very dangerous as he stopped on the exit of the corner in the middle of the circuit. He could have moved further on past the corner and pulled closer to the wall where it would have been safer.
It was something that was a great show for Formula One, just not done in the perfect way.
From Singapore, we headed to Korea, and ahead of the race there were question marks about Kimi's fitness because of some issues he'd been having with his back.
I was ready to jump in and drive if he hadn't been fit, but in the end there was no problem and he was fine to compete. He didn't suffer with his back and it showed he was right to race as we ended up getting both cars on the podium on race day.