Romain Grosjean marked his return to the top flight in real style today by taking third place on the grid for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix, the opening round in the F1 2012 World Championship.
Grosjean, who has worked hard to get a second chance after a seven race spell with Renault at the end of 2009, shocked with a storming final lap in the top-ten shoot-out. His time, a 1 minute 25.302 seconds, was good enough to put him ahead of both the Red Bulls and both of the Mercedes', just 0.228 seconds off Jenson Button in P2.
“Today is like a dream come true,” said the Frenchman, who proved his worth last year by winning F1's principal feeder category, GP2.
“I only really discovered the Albert Park circuit in the dry this morning and I didn't know what to expect. When I heard my position over the radio I just could not believe it.
“This third position shows one thing: you must believe in your dreams and hold on to them, whatever happens.
“Very few people still had faith in me after my first life in F1, but we've all worked very hard to start a new adventure and I'm very happy to be able to put a great performance in right from the start of the season. Thank you also to the team for designing such a nice, tidy and quick little car.”
Despite his success though, something that was emphasised all the more as team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen went out in Q1 [see separate story - here
], he remains grounded.
“I will not get carried away because, as the saying goes, you don't score any points on a Saturday. We all know that Melbourne can be a very tricky race,” he continued.
“I hope we can keep going like this all season long and in the end it will be a nice story.”