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GP Week : Issue 157
Supreme tyre management skills at the wheel of his Lotus allowed Frenchman Romain Grosjean to record his second podium finish of the season from seventh on the grid, after completing a mammoth 49-lap stint on a single set of soft Pirelli tyres to finish just 2.5 seconds behind race winner Lewis Hamilton. It could have been even better for the 26-year-old however, as he spent the first half of the race tucked up behind Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes, before being released on lap 37 when the German pitted for the second time. He then had to follow Red Bull’s Mark Webber for more than 10 laps, before finally seeing clear air for the final 17 laps. Grosjean was ecstatic with the result, his best in F1 to date, as he moves to seventh place in the drivers’ championship just two points behind team-mate Raikkonen: “It’s been a great day for the team. It was an incredible race and the one stop strategy worked perfectly for us. It wasn’t an easy race, but we wanted to be aggressive to achieve a good result,” said the Frenchman. “Yesterday was a bit disappointing, but we learnt a lot from Friday to Saturday and the fruits of all these lessons were seen today. “It wasn’t easy to manage the second set of tyres for so long, but it worked so I’ll happily do that again for another result like today. It’s fantastic to finish in second position on my first visit to Montreal, hopefully I will finish in first on my second time!” Jenson Button’s 2012 season went from worse to worst in Montreal as he slumped to his second successive 16th place finish and record his fourth non-score of the campaign so far, slipping even further from championship contention. The writing was on the wall for the Briton even on Saturday when he scraped through to Q3 and qualified only 10th on the grid, but quickly went backwards during the race. It was the same old story of tyres for the 2009 champion, as he was unable to get the Pirellis into their operating window to extract any kind of representative performance from his MP4-27, and ultimately ended the race being lapped by his team-mate on his way to victory. Speaking to reporters after the race, Button was totally confused at his lack of pace. He finished almost 100 seconds behind Hamilton, an average deficit of over 1.4 seconds per lap. “I haven't got a clue what to do at the moment and every time we have good ideas we don't seem to make any progress,” he said. “I love driving an F1 car so I am confident every time I jump in and then after two laps there is no grip anywhere. “It's been the same for the last couple of races and I don't know why because it is normally something I am pretty good at. I'm driving round 1.5 seconds slower than the leaders and one is my team-mate but I can't go any quicker.” With seven of this year’s 20 races now completed, Button lies eighth in the championship, albeit just 43 points behind championship leader Hamilton. But, with all other championship contenders regularly scoring points and podium finishes, time is running out for Button to stay in championship contention. ANOTHER PODIUM FOR LOTUS AS GROSJEAN CONQUERS TYRES BUTTON CONFUSED AT 1.4-SECOND PER LAP DEFICIT TO HAMILTON F1 >>> CANADA 26 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: