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Lotus lose ground after troubled Suzuka outing

Lotus were disappointed to lose points to their rivals as a result of poor pace for Raikkonen and another first-lap incident and DNF for Grosjean.
Lotus came away from Japan disappointed with the weekend's result, after they lost considerable ground on their rivals in the constructors' championship.

Romain Grosjean once again found himself in the middle of a storm of criticism after running into Mark Webber's Red Bull on the first lap. Webber was subsequently particularly outspoken in his comments about the Frenchman's standard of driving this season. (See separate story.)

Grosjean insisted that regardless of how it appeared in the wake of this latest accident, he really had learned his lesson from the accident at Spa that had resulted in him being handed a one-race ban and missing the Italian Grand Prix.

"Ever since I came back in Singapore my priority has been to be very cautious at the start," he said. "I was watching Sergio [Perez] on my left to make sure there was no contact with him.

"There was quite a big speed difference between me and Mark as I came into the first corner which caught me by surprise and we collided," he explained. "It was a stupid mistake," he said, adding that he had met up with Webber after the race ended and apologised for the accident.

The initial incident had cost him time for repairs in the pits, and then earned him a stop-go penalty from the race stewards which put him out of contention for any points. In the end, the team called him in and retired the car from the race shortly before the finish of the race in order to put the Frenchman out of his misery.

Worryingly for Grosjean, Lotus team principal Eric Boullier appeared to offer only half-hearted support for his embattled driver - although he insisted that Grosjean had "made progress" since Spa to improve his race manners.

"Obviously, it has not gone as well as we expected," he admitted. "We could see in Singapore, when Romain was back on track, that the other drivers were putting some pressure on him at the start.

"Here it was a little bit easier, but he made a small mistake misjudging his pace compared with Mark, which was a bit higher."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
30.08.2012- Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Lotus F1 Team
10.06.2012- Race, Celebration, Eric Boullier (FRA), Team Manager, Lotus F1 Team and 2nd position Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20
07.10.2012- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20
07.10.2012- Race, Pit Stop, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20
Alex Lynn (GBR) Lotus F1 E22 Test Driver.
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Alex Lynn (GBR) Lotus F1 E22 Test Driver.
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Alex Lynn (GBR) Lotus F1 E22 Test Driver.
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Alex Lynn (GBR) Lotus F1 E22 Test Driver.
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Esteban Ocon (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Test Driver.
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Esteban Ocon (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Test Driver.
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Esteban Ocon (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Test Driver.
26.11.2014.
Esteban Ocon (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Test Driver.
26.11.2014.
Esteban Ocon (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Test Driver.
26.11.2014.
Esteban Ocon (FRA) Lotus F1 E22 Test Driver.
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Esteban Ocon (FRA) Lotus F1 Team Test Driver.
26.11.2014.
Esteban Ocon (FRA) Lotus F1 Team Test Driver.
26.11.2014.
Esteban Ocon (FRA) Lotus F1 Team Test Driver.
26.11.2014.
Lotus F1 E22 steering wheel.
26.11.2014.

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Taz

October 08, 2012 10:20 AM

@taliz Alonso hasn't been involved in 7/8 1st lap incidents in one year, the stats are there in black or white. It was a mistake by Alonso but he doesn't make them often.

Taz

October 08, 2012 10:07 AM

Big John looked like a broken man in the post race interviews, I honestly thought he was going to burst into tears. The guys confidence must be rock bottom. He's a very talented driver but it's hard to ignore that many mistakes. He's lucky his boss is also his manager, not sure what Lopez (main shareholder) makes of it though. If they didn't have Kimi they wouldn't be in 4th and the prize money would be a lot lower.



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