Romain Grosjean says he feels he can still score points in Brazil despite being left down in 18th spot after a clash with Pedro de la Rosa in qualifying for the F1 season finale.
Grosjean hit the rear of de la Rosa's HRT coming through the final corner at Interlagos when he tried to go up the inside of the Spaniard, who didn't anticipate the move and elected to take his normal line through the corner.
Stewards decided to take no action
after looking into the incident following the session and Grosjean will now seek to break forwards into the points from his starting slot, even though he was disappointed to have found himself so far back in the first place.
“I stayed behind Pedro during his flying lap to not disturb his time, but then when we got to the straight I tried to get past and he just didn't see me,” he said. “I braked as much as I could but it was too late; he moved across, there was contact which broke my front wing and that was my afternoon ruined.
“To be honest I'm pretty upset about it; of course, every driver is out there fighting for position but pulling that kind of move when the car behind is clearly faster is just pointless. The car felt very good this morning and we should have been fighting for the top five not struggling to get into Q2. There's a lot of work to do now to get close to where we should be, but we know the pace is there so hopefully we can still bring home some good points.”
Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane agreed that there was no reason why Grosjean shouldn't be in contention for a top ten finish on race day.
“There's potential for a strong result from Romain tomorrow,” he said. “Although he starts down in P18 after an unfortunate incident with Pedro [de la Rosa], the car underneath him is certainly much quicker than those around him whatever the conditions may be and he plenty of fresh tyres to help him through the pack. There's no reason to believe he won't be challenging for a solid points haul tomorrow and that is undoubtedly our aim.”