Grosjean facing Lotus axe after another on track incident
25 November, 2012
Nov.25 (Apex & GMM) Romain Grosjean was again centre of a controversial on track manouevre that ended his chances of a strong showing during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, and further jeopardises his Formula One career which has been littered with incidents this season.
Perhaps it was the conditions, perhaps not, but drama struck in Q1 when Grosjean tried to squeeze his Lotus between Pedro de la Rosa’s HRT and the Armco barrier at the fast right hand sweep where the entry to the pitlane starts, where everyone has the pedal to the metal.
De la Rosa was unsighted as the Lotus clipped the back end of the HRT, clearly Grosjean chose the wrong option in place where no one overtakes.
The Frenchman tried to explain afterwards, Unfortunately there’s not much to say. I stayed behind Pedro [de la Rosa] during his flying lap to not disturb his time, but then when we got to the straight I tried to get past and he just didn’t see me. I braked as much as I could but it was too late; he moved across, there was contact which broke my front wing and that was my afternoon ruined.”
He added, “To be honest I’m pretty upset about it; of course, every driver is out there fighting for position but pulling that kind of move when the car behind is clearly faster is just pointless.”
De la Rosa gave his side of the story, “Our car was competitive and we certainly could have done better but I was on a flying lap when I was hit by another car. It was a dangerous manoeuvre because I couldn’t move aside given the track conditions. As a consequence of the impact, the rear suspension bent and also punctured the rear tyre.”
Meanwhile Gerard Lopez, the owner of the Lotus team, has played down rumours Romain Grosjean could be dropped.
Even before the Frenchman got involved in yet another incident this weekend – the high-speed qualifying clash with Pedro de la Rosa – whispers in the Interlagos paddock had suggested that Grosjean’s future was less than secure.
That’s because of the 26-year-old’s tumultuous 2012 season, and the fact that his teammate Kimi Raikkonen’s 2013 deal has already been announced.
When asked by France’s RMC Sport if Grosjean could be ousted, Lopez answered: “No, this is not the subject right now. The subject is to sit down and see what we are going to do.”
The buzz in the Interlagos paddock has been that Lotus is pursuing a high-profile figure for 2013, just as it did when it brought Raikkonen back from a rallying sabbatical this season.
One name mentioned a few times has been Robert Kubica’s, even though the talented Pole is saying openly that his injuries are still preventing him from driving a single seater, and Lopez told Auto Motor und Sport: “There is no ‘Kimi’ on the market right now.”
Subbed by AJN.