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GP Week : Issue 184
It was a disappointing weekend – again – for Romain Grosjean. A lacklustre qualifying session which saw the Lotus racer in 19th place was only made worse by the cloud of a ten- place grid penalty hanging over him from the previous grand prix. Many were left wondering whether Grosjean had the mental resilience to bounce back from his forgettable performance in Monaco two weeks ago. Speaking before the Canadian Grand Prix, the Frenchman was quick to put his qualifying disappointment in the background, believing the layout of Circuit de Villeneuve would provide plenty of chances to move up the grid. “It's three [problems] in a row, but that doesn't mean that tomorrow we can't score points,” Grosjean said. “It's not nice, but tomorrow is another day. It's a long race, with some different strategies and some overtaking spots.” Starting at the back of the grid and having to play a conservative game into the Turn One bottle- neck forced Grosjean to hold station for the first part of the race. By lap three, he was still stuck in 20th position behind the Caterham of Charles Pic, prompting commentators to write-off the Swiss- Frenchman’s chances of a decent result in Montreal. They would ultimately be proved right, but for all the wrong reasons. Grosjean and Paul di Resta both opted to start on the medium compound tyre – the strategy proving a masterstroke – with Romain leap-frogging to 13th by lap 14 and as high as eighth by lap 35. With a number of drivers finding their way off the circuit, it was Romain who held steady, believing the team’s grand design would bring him into contention. Lotus’s cunning plan, aligned with the E21’s superior tyre management, could have seen Grosjean finish well inside the top ten had he not started so far back. In contrast to teammate Raikkonen, who finished ninth, Grosjean was unlucky not to be rewarded with a points-paying position. While a net 13th place is nothing to write home about, Montreal could prove to be a watershed moment in Grosjean’s career and development as a driver; the awakening of a mature streak that could prove devastating when paired with his existing pace. Street-fighter Romain 31 GPWEEK.com // 31 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> CANADA