Lotus driver Romain Grosjean put his one-race ban behind him by taking a solid seventh place in the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday, a result he described as 'not bad'.
Grosjean had to sit out the last event in Italy after his role in the start-line accident in Belgium. Despite that though, he had a pretty good weekend, and on Saturday out-qualified his team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen.
Although he eventually finished one spot behind the Finn, after being instructed to let him by on lap 48, the Frenchman wasn't too disheartened and took comfort from being on a similar pace. He also added another six points to his season tally and now heads to Japan in two weeks time with 82 points on the board and seven top-ten finishes in the bag.
“It was a tough race but not a bad result in the end,” Grosjean reflected. “I made a good start, managed to hold position when things got quite close through the first few corners and the car felt pretty good throughout. Our performance was much better than what we would have expected at the start of the weekend.
“Of course, I dropped a position to Kimi as well; he was quicker than me towards the end of the race and there was no sense in holding him up. It's never easy as a driver to let someone past – even if it is your team-mate – but we need to be intelligent in these circumstances.
“My target is to be as close to Kimi as I can in terms of pace and I think we achieved that today, so after a difficult start to the weekend I think we can be pleased with this result.”
Lotus team boss Eric Boullier meanwhile was fairly pleased with the 6-7 finish given how the squad struggled in practice.
“We had a difficult start to the weekend but the team did a good job to recover. Qualifying was frustrating after both cars showed strong pace in Q1 and the first part of Q2 but ultimately fell short of what we were hoping for in the end. The race pace from both cars was good and although we were unlucky with the first safety car our strategy worked well. After a difficult weekend for us Kimi is still third in the Drivers' Championship and we have not lost too much ground to McLaren and Red Bull in the Constructors' standings so that is a big positive,” Boullier added.
“The fact that we feel our lack of performance here was quite unexpected shows our ambition, however, and our priority for the rest of the season now will be to make sure we're in the sort of positions we know we can achieve right from the start of each weekend.”