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GP Week : Issue 194
Romain Grosjean continues to be a model of consistency with his performance at Yas Marina representing his four th top-four finish in a row. It could have been even better but for a mid-race squabble with Adrian sutil which saw the Frenchman finish just under a second behind third-placed Nico Rosberg at the chequered flag. Starting from fourth on the grid, Grosjean had his sights set on the RB9 of Mark Webber after the Australian was muscled out of position by the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg. Keeping pace with Webber, the Lotus driver looked set for a potential podium until the first round of stops, when he emerged from pit lane behind Webber as they closed in on the Toro Rosso of Jean - Eric Vergne. Crucially, Webber was able to execute a move on Toro Rosso with the aid of a taller geared Red Bull; Grosjean lacked that advantage and was left vulnerable to the Force India of Adrian Sutil who was on a one -stop strategy. On lap 17, Grosjean made his move on Sutil and sailed into the top eight. But the job was not done as Sutil fought back, re -passing the Frenchman through the second DRS zone. The squabble over eighth continued for the next two laps, with Grosjean finally prevailing by firmly shutting the door on Sutil, but losing vital race time in the process. Once the stops were completed a truer picture began to emerge, with Grosjean back in fourth but some way behind Rosberg who then had the advantage of monitoring the Lotus’ pace and was able to nurse his tyres until the end. As it was, the Mercedes driver went only as fast as he needed to and was able to secure the last step on the podium despite a late charge from Grosjean. “ T hat middle stint cost us the chance of a podium in the end, and on pace we could maybe even have pushed Mark for second place, but that’s how it goes sometimes,” Grosjean said after the race. “It’s a shame we couldn’t make it four podiums in a row, but to come away with fourth place after a difficult couple of days is a decent result.” Go Ro-Gro, go ... 34 GPWEEK.com // 34 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> ABU DHABI