Lotus driver Romain Grosjean took a morale boosting third place finish on Sunday in the 2013 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Frenchman has had a somewhat difficult start to the season - despite scoring points in the three previous races - but put in a strong performance at the Sakhir circuit.
Indeed despite starting down in P11 and despite a first pit stop that was earlier than anticipated due to track debris being scooped up by his right-hand-side radiator intake, he made his three-stop strategy pay off, passing Paul di Resta with just 5 laps to go to ensure he joined team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen on the rostrum.
It was the fourth F1 podium result of his career, the first coming twelve months ago at the same circuit.
“It's great to be back on the podium and it's a fantastic result for the team. It hasn't been an easy start to the season for me, but we made good progress through the weekend and are now back to where we should be,” Grosjean stated.
“I felt much more comfortable in the car and the result today is a deserved reward for everyone after all our hard work.
“It was a really enjoyable race with a lot of overtaking and a couple of tense moments along the way, so to come from P11 through to the podium is really satisfying. We've had consistency already, finishing every race in the points, but now it's the big results we're chasing and this is a very good start to that challenge.”
Lotus team principal, Eric Boullier meanwhile was also delighted to see his two drivers repeat what they managed at this track in 2012 - especially given the relative lacklustre performances in qualifying. The result also lifts the Enstone-based outfit back up to second in the Constructors' Championship.
"Here we are again, just like in 2012!” Boullier added. “This time around though it was much more difficult – especially after a qualifying performance which fell below our expectations – but we've shown flashes of pace throughout the weekend and confirmed that speed when it mattered today.
“The win was not quite within our reach after the start we made, but to come away with a double podium when the top six would maybe have been a more realistic pre-race target was a great performance from everybody involved
“I'm delighted for the whole team here in Bahrain and back at Enstone; it's a well-deserved result,” Boullier summed-up.