Romain Grosjean has expressed great satisfaction after powering from a lowly 17th on the grid after a miserable qualifying session to 3rd after the race, in what was another masterful drive from the Frenchman. Throughout the race his Lotus was plagued with engine issues, which ultimately failed to deter him from rising up onto the podium.
Shortly after the start of the race Romain Grosjean explained that he felt extremely comfortable behind the wheel of his Renault-powered E21, as managed to dodge the ensuing melee of cars in front during the opening few laps of the race. On Lap 13 he made his one and only pit-stop, after electing to stay out when the likes of Sebastian Vettel immediately pitted after the first few laps for new tyres. With Pirelli advising the drivers that 35 laps would be the maximum amount on the medium tyre compound, Grosjean managed to complete an impressive 47 lap stint which ultimately enabled him to steadily rise through the order.
As the race entered its closing stages, it became clear that team-mate Kimi Raikkonen would be unable to replicate his team-mate’s strategy, as he began suffering heavily from tyre wear. Eventually Nico Rosberg rose up to 2nd ahead of the Finn, before Romain Grosjean caught him several laps later. The duo banged wheels as Grosjean strove to overtake his team-mate, eventually making the move stick with the Ferrari of Felipe Massa hot on his heels. Despite the 27-year-old’s superb drive through the field, he was plagued throughout the closing laps with an issue on his engine’s pneumatic system, however the Renault mechanics were able to limit the air consumption.
“If you had told me yesterday that I’d be on the podium here I would have said you were crazy!” Enthused Romain Grosjean, “Straight from the beginning of the race I felt very comfortable on the option tyres and we looked in pretty good shape, then we fitted the mediums and the car was really quick. I lost quite a lot of time behind [Esteban] Gutierrez which maybe cost us the fight for 2nd, but we managed to come back from that well. We had an engine issue at the end of the race which made things quite tricky. Before the race our best prediction was 4th if we had a strong start and a perfect race, so it was an amazing result and a great performance from the team.”
This superb result marks Romain Grosjean’s third successive podium finish, with 3rd place at Korea and Japan beforehand. Although the Frenchman’s future in Formula 1 has yet to be secured, he will undoubtedly be heading to Abu Dhabi next weekend with firm intentions of finishing on the podium once again. Since his highly erratic return to Formula 1 last season, Romain Grosjean has certainly changed his approach and become a force to be reckoned with on the grid.
Picture Copyright © Lotus F1 Team