Lotus driver Romain Grosjean has picked up a five-place grid penalty for the German Grand Prix after it was confirmed he will need a new gearbox.
Grosjean put in a great race last Sunday at the British Grand Prix, bouncing back from the brush with Paul di Resta on the opening lap, which necessitated an unscheduled early stop for a new nose, to finish the race in sixth place overall.
However on the final lap he had an issue with the gearbox and unfortunately it will now need to be replaced for the tenth round in the 2012 F1 World Championship, landing the Frenchman with a five-place drop.
“It [the concern on the last lap] was a gearbox problem and we are very fortunate that Romain didn't have the problem earlier in the race,” said Lotus technical director, James Allison. “Unfortunately for Romain it means he'll take a five place grid penalty at Hockenheim, but he certainly showed at Silverstone that dropping down the order won't stop him challenging at the sharp end.”
Grosjean meanwhile is looking forward to the German GP and believes there should be plenty of good passing opportunities, something that could prove handy now given his penalty...
“I like Hockenheim because I've raced there quite a few times. In fact, one of my first single seater races was there in Formula Renault 1.6 in 2003. Then in Formula 3, I did about eight races at the track because we went twice a year with the Euro F3 Series, so there are a few good memories and I'm looking forward to returning,” he added.
“I think the chances of overtaking will be quite high. We need to see the DRS zone and so on, but looking at the layout it's good for that and all the races here are usually interesting. I'm sure we can have a good race and deliver a strong result.
“The team have been working hard and finding solutions to improve our qualifying performances.
"In Silverstone it was cold and wet which made for a difficult session but we still made it through to Q3 quite strongly, even if we weren't able to go out. I'm sure Hockenheim will suit us well.”