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Lotus not blaming Grosjean for struggles

Apr 17, 2013, 9:19 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of China - Race Getty Images

Lotus say Romain Grosjean should not be blamed for the problems he is experiencing with his car at the moment.

While Kimi Raikkonen has scored a win and a second place in the first three races of the season, Grosjean is yet to finish inside the top five.

But Lotus technical director James Allison says: “The truth is that it’s certainly not Romain causing the problem.”

“Romain is fast, smooth and good at looking after tires, however we have not yet managed to give him a consistent car that lets him bring his talent to bear.

“It’s not him; it’s that we haven’t got it quite right for him yet and what seems to be clear from Kimi’s weekends is that the car is a tricky little beast to get just right. We have managed that with Kimi in two of the three races and we need to make sure we’ve giving Romain all the opportunity to shine as well.”

The problem was “very frustrating”, Grosjean admitted. “I would be lying if I said the car is exactly where I want it and we are having quite an adventure to get the setup and feeling from the car how we want it.”

He ended final practice in China with the 18th fastest time but rallied in qualifying to put the car sixth on the grid. After that he slipped back to ninth in the race.

“We struggled all weekend to get the balance right,” said Grosjean. “It felt a lot better in qualifying but in the race I just couldn’t find the performance.”

“I made a good start, climbed a few places and was sitting close behind Kimi for a short while, but then the tires just fell off the cliff and I dropped right back. As the race went on I ended up getting stuck in traffic which obviously didn’t help, but I still have some work to do to try and find more from the car.”

  1. apexassassin - Apr 17, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Such a dramatic change from last year and still no results. If he weren’t French he’d be long gone.

    • thenicklemansbrothera - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      Grosjean has several things going for him but being French isn’t the signifant one. First he has shown some promise over the last few years. His promise leaves the team with the belief he can develop over the next few years. KIimi won’t be there forever. The costs of supporting two #1 drivers is far more than supporting one #1 and a developing. I see his biggest problem is consistancy. Sure he shows flash and at times puts in a faster lap than Kimi and other drivers but overall he seems to push one or two extra fast laps and leaves too many slower ones in the mix. .He also blames the car far too much.

      • apexassassin - Apr 18, 2013 at 8:08 PM

        Boullier flat out said he wants a French driver in the car and admitting that was a large part of why he wasn’t dropped after last season, not to mention the large number of French employed by what is now the former Renault factory team.

        While I disagree with it, national ties still play a large role in modern F1. And you are 100% correct about the costs, and I know they still haven’t signed a title sponsor, having lost Honeywell and now Mclaren signing up Gilette.

        No doubt though, having Kimi as a teamie is like having Alonso or Hamilton as your mate, except Kimi is the IceMan… and they don’t call him that because he likes ice cream! :P The guy is so consistant. He’s now going for 21 races in the row in the points.

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