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GP Week : Issue 163
30 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Romain Grosjean endured a nightmare weekend as he slumped to a dismal 18th place finish thanks to a combination of a poor qualifying, grid penalty, first lap collision and car damage. The Frenchman went in to qualifying with a five-place penalty hanging over his head for an unscheduled gearbox change, but his failure to find any pace from his Lotus in the tricky wet conditions put him 19th on the grid. Then on the first lap, contact with another driver broke his front wing and punctured a tyre, putting him to the very back of the field as he pitted for repairs. Damage from the contact and return to the pits on a punctured tyre didn’t help his cause and he took the flag in 18th, behind even Caterham’s Vitaly Petrov. It was Grosjean’s first non-points scoring finish in what has otherwise been a competitive return to F1. “We were on the back foot from the outset after the grid penalty and nothing went right today,” began Grosjean. “It’s a shame as I had a good start and took a few places in the first corner. Then on the straight there was contact and that was the race pretty much ruined for me. I’m not sure exactly what happened – we’ll have to look at the on-board footage to get a better idea – but my car was badly damaged with a broken front wing and a puncture. “By the time I managed to get back to the pits the race was as good as over. You never want to have these kind of weekends, but it happens. It will make us enjoy the next good race even more.” NIGHTMARE WEEKEND FOR GROSJEAN F1 >>> HOCKENHEIM