Oct 13, 2013, 7:00 AM EDT
Romain Grosjean is delighted to have finished third in today’s Japanese Grand Prix despite leading the majority of the race at Suzuka and only losing out to the Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber after his final pit stop.
The Lotus driver appeared to be on the cusp of becoming the first French driver to win a grand prix since Olivier Panis’ victory at the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix. However, by going longer on his second stint, Vettel was able to use his fresher tires to catch Grosjean with twelve laps to go. Three-stopping Mark Webber was also able to find a way past late on, but Grosjean is pleased to have finished on the podium.
“Today was just a very, very good race,” Grosjean said. “What a start! It was superb to go past both the Red Bulls like that and it’ll be one of my best memories of the year.”
Grosjean made a fantastic getaway off the line, jumping up from fourth to first as he passed Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber to seize the lead of the race. He is proud that he was the only driver to come close to the Red Bull duo in Japan, with fourth-placed Fernando Alonso finished over thirty seconds behind the Lotus.
“The car was fantastic on the first set of tyres and we managed to pull away, but then the Red Bulls were able to reel us in later on. Ultimately, we were the only car to almost catch the ‘bull’. It’s been a great home race for my engineer; it’s always good to come to Japan and it’s really good to be back on the podium again.”
- Kenseth clinches Chase berth; Bowyer falls out of Grid with one race to go 0
- Kasey Kahne rallies in last 2 laps to win at Atlanta, makes Chase 0
- Tony Stewart’s comeback hopes end with rough 41st-place finish at Atlanta 0
- Tony Stewart the obvious fan favorite during pre-race introductions at Atlanta 1
- Still searching: Castroneves finishes 14th, falls short of IndyCar title (VIDEO) 1
- Will Power claims 2014 IndyCar title as Tony Kanaan ties season win record in Fontana 1
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Tony Stewart’s return to racing: ‘I’m sure that’s where he wants to be’ 0