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GP Week : Issue 188
A one -stop strategy by Lotus all but went to plan for Romain Grosjean, but for a drop in performance at the end of each of his stints that resulted in the Frenchman finishing one place down from his original grid position. A strong Friday showing demostrated Grosjean’s continued ability to get the best out of the Lotus E21 on long runs, to the point of matching Mark Webber – who was suspected to be on a lighter fuel load. But the Lotus driver was caught out by the inclement weather during qualifying, and as a result he started from seventh on the grid, behind the McLaren of Jenson Button. A decent jump off the line vaulted Grosjean alongside a sluggish Webber, but he was left hung out to dry on the exit of La Source and lost position to the Sauber of Nico Hulkenberg before entering Eau Rouge. Grosjean’s fortunes did not improve as he fell victim to a pass by Sergio Perez on the entrance to Les Combes. The new father was forced slightly wide as Perez took his natural racing line, but as a result ventured up the escape road to avoid contact. Losing valuable time, Grosjean was then easy prey for a fast closing Felipe Massa. The incident at La Source was typical of Grosjean’s race; unable to regain the ground lost he eventually finished two seconds behind Massa’s Ferrari for a minor point- scoring position – a small consolation given teammate Kimi Raikkonen’s retirement. “ We had a difficult first lap where we lost a few positions and then dropped back a couple more places in the incident with Sergio,” mused a slightly dispirited Grosjean. “ We decided on a one -stop strategy today and with the new tyres I felt that the grip was much higher than before but I knew that it would be difficult to get the time back. “ We tried something different and you never know; had it rained in the middle of the race we could have been well- placed to take advantage. It is good to finish the race without any mistakes, even if eighth place isn’t what we were hoping for this weekend; it’s also a shame that Kimi didn’t finish the race, but we go to Monza hopeful of better things.” RoGro's one-stop shop 30 GPWEEK.com // 30 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> BELGIUM