Posted on March 28, 2014


Lotus’ troubled start to the season continued in Sepang as the team’s drivers set a total of just 14 timed laps across both opening practice sessions, with neither driver record a time in FP1 and Pastor Maldonado failing to set a time all day. The Venezuelan was restricted to the garage for much of the morning session in Malaysia but he eventually took the track with 20 minutes remaining. His outing didn’t last long however. Midway through his out lap smoke could be seen pouring from the back of his E22 and he was quickly told to “switch off the More…

Posted on February 19, 2014


Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg went quickest on the first day of the second pre-season test in Bahrain as Red Bull Racing again hit trouble. Sebastian Vettel completed just 14 laps of the Sakhir circuit in the afternoon before a mechanical issue brought his running to a halt. The defending champions arrived in Bahrain hoping that work at its Milton Keynes base and at Renault’s HQ in Viry had cured the problems that restricted the team to just 21 laps in Jerez but day one Bahrain began in the same style with RB10 garage-bound until the afternoon. When Vettel eventually emerged More…

Posted on December 4, 2013


For our final podcast of the year we look back at the 2013 season and analyse the big stories as well as looking at how the F1 drivers performed. With me are Marussia Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon, Autosport’s Grand Prix editor Mark Hughes, sponsor finder and CEO of Just Marketing Zac Brown, and JA on F1 reporter Holly Samos as well as our technical adviser Mark Gillan. We also have contributions from Sir Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda. It’s a lively listen: We ask “How good a year of F1 was 2013?”, we analyse why some teams are struggling to More…

Posted on November 29, 2013


As expected, Lotus have announced that Pastor Maldonado will join the Enstone-based team next season alongside Romain Grosjean, who retains his race seat for a third year. Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg was the initial frontrunner to replace Kimi Raikkonen, who will return to Ferrari next season, at Lotus. However, consistent delays in an investment deal with Quantum Motorsports meant Lotus required a driver with backing and Maldonado – with his $30m of sponsorship money from Venezuelan oil company PDVSA – entered the frame. Maldonado leaves Williams after three seasons and 58 grand prix starts. The high point came in the 2012 More…

Posted on November 18, 2013


There couldn’t be a more graphic transformation of a driver’s fortunes than those of Romain Grosjean who was praised by Mark Webber after Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, a year after Webber called the Frenchman a “first-lap nutcase” for a series of first and second lap incidents. At the time, Webber described Grosjean’s driving as “embarrassing” after the Lotus driver T-boned the Red Bull in last year’s Japanese Grand Prix. However, Lotus kept faith in Grosjean and despite a difficult start to this season, the Frenchman has come good. Second place in Austin, Texas, having held off a determined Webber More…

Posted on October 13, 2013


Sebastian Vettel won the Japanese Grand Prix, after a race long challenge from Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, who led for most of the race. Pole sitter Mark Webber passed Grosjean for second place two laps from the end to make it a Red Bull 1-2. Fernando Alonso finished fourth, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg, who put in another strong performance. It was Vettel’s fourth win in five years at Suzuka and his ninth win of 2013 and the 35th win of his career. It was also the first time he has won five consecutive races. Vettel now has a More…

Posted on August 1, 2013


The drive-through penalty handed to Romain Grosjean for been judged to have left the track in completing his overtake of Felipe Massa has become quite a talking point among JA on F1 readers following the Hungarian Grand Prix. Lotus driver Grosjean, who was also given a 20-second post-race penalty for clashing with McLaren’s Jenson Button, went on to finish sixth having looked like he was in contention for at least a podium earlier in the race. The vast majority of those commenting on the incident have been sympathetic to Grosjean, suggesting he didn’t deserve the penalty. Phil said: “Super impressed More…

Posted on April 2, 2013


Lotus technical director James Allison believes the team’s car has genuine pace in the dry and will continue to race at the front of the field in the upcoming races. Kimi Raikkonen produced a scintillating drive to take victory, his second for the team, in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. Raikkonen was seventh last time out in the rain-hit Malaysian Grand Prix, one place behind team-mate Romain Grosjean, but Allison told the latest edition of the JA on F1 podcast that the car still showed front-running pace in dry conditions. “We didn’t have a great race at Sepang More…

Posted on March 1, 2013


Romain Grosjean made up for a poor first day of testing yesterday to top the times on the second day in Barcelona, ahead of Jenson Button and Pastor Maldonado. It was another day of mixed conditions as rain fell overnight and continued through to this morning, offering another opportunity to run the intermediate and wet tyres and gain a clearer picture of the perfect cross over point on to slick tyres. And this cross-over point occurred an hour prior to the lunch break, when the majority of teams took the chance to cover some dry miles beneath a threatening sky. More…

Posted on February 6, 2013


Romain Grosjean continued Lotus’ strong form during this week’s first winter test by topping the times of Day 2 at Jerez, as the teams piled on the mileage, some covering around 100 laps while Lewis Hamilton’s opening day at Mercedes came to an abrupt end due to a brake failure. Hamilton had completed just fifteen laps this morning and had just done a lap in the 1m 19.5s, when a hydraulic brake line at the back caused him to run straight on at the Dry Sack hairpin and lightly in to the barriers. The back-straight leading in to Dry Sack More…

Posted on December 17, 2012


Lotus has finally confirmed that Romain Grosjean will retain his seat at the team for next season, with the Frenchman vowing to put the lessons learnt from his turbulent 2012 into practice. Although the 26-year-old had been expected to be kept on alongside Kimi Raikkonen for a second straight season the delay in the reconfirmation suggested the Enstone team’s hierarchy was carefully taking its time to ensure Grosjean was ready to make improvements in 2013. As while the Frenchman, after resurrecting his career in GP2 following his brief ill-fated initial F1 stint with the same team in 2009, showed his More…

Posted on October 7, 2012


Mark Webber has led calls for Romain Grosjean to face another driving ban after he was taken out by the Frenchman at the start of the Japanese Grand Prix, the seventh such incident Grosjean has been involved in this season. Grosjean received a one-race ban after causing a pile-up in Spa, but today’s incident shows that either he has not learned or he has some in-built problem when it comes to the instinctive phase of the racing driver’s art – the chaotic race starts. Because race starts are an instinctive moment, many ex-drivers in the paddock argue that this is More…

Posted on September 4, 2012


Jerome D’Ambrosio will race in place of the suspended Romain Grosjean’s for Lotus at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, the team has as expected confirmed, marking the former Virgin driver’s competitive return to a race environment for the first time since the end of last season. Although some of the bigger name drivers currently on the F1 sidelines were immediately linked to the one-off drive after Grosjean’s one-race ban for causing Sunday’s first-corner pile-up at Spa was announced, it was logical that Lotus would turn to their well-regarded Belgian test and reserve driver to fill the void at Monza. The More…

Posted on September 3, 2012


It was interesting to speak to a few of the drivers privately after the race in Belgium and to hear that some of them welcomed the stewards’ tough stance on Romain Grosjean, banning him from the next race in Monza. One or two said that the ban should have been longer. Clearly there is a problem here with two drivers in particular: Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado. Their fellow drivers are upset with their repeated incidents involving other drivers and don’t feel safe racing against them. Grosjean has been involved in incidents at the start in Australia, Malaysia and Monaco among More…

Posted on March 2, 2012


Lotus driver Romain Grosjean set the pace again on Day 2 in Barcelona, setting the fastest time of the day in 1m 22.614, but he also managed 124 laps in the day including a race simulation which impressed onlookers. Grosjean said,”I’m very happy with the car, and it was great that we could still run strongly at the end of the session, even after a long stint.” Team mate Kimi Raikkonen takes over tomorrow in the car for the remainder of the test. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso managed the Scuderia’s first race distance simulation this afternoon, after Felipe Massa’s attempt yesterday. More…

Posted on December 9, 2011


Romain Grosjean is back in Formula 1. The 25 year old Frenchman will drive alongside Kimi Raikkonen in a deal which has clearly been brokered by French oil company Total, which has also extended its sponsorship of the team for a further two years. Team owner Gerard Lopez of Genii hinted recently that the team might well change both drivers after a lacklustre 2011 season, which saw Vitaly Petrov criticise the team and Bruno Senna drafted in half way through the year to replace Nick Heidfeld. Grosjean did a stint in F1 with the Enstone based team during its days More…

Posted on August 28, 2011


Romain Grosjean clinched the GP2 title this weekend, following in the footsteps of Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Nico Hulkenberg. Now he needs to move back into F1 and it will be very interesting to see what happens. Grosjean has had an F1 chance before, of course, in 2009 when he was drafted in by Flavio Briatore to replace Nelson Piquet Jr. It was the wrong move at the wring time, he came in with no testing, mid season and up against Fernando Alonso in the other car. He was too young, not prepared and wasn’t physically strong enough. Now, More…

Posted on July 25, 2011


Following on from the driver switches at HRT and Team Lotus in recent races, there is more movement with Bruno Senna being given a chance to drive the Renault in Friday morning practice in Budapest. The Brazilian has been in a reserve driver role this season after a difficult debut season with HRT last year. Nick Heidfeld’s seat with the team is under review, the veteran German has not performed as well as expected against Vitaly Petrov – it is seven to three in qualifying to the Russian – in the seat left vacant by Robert Kubica’s accident. But it More…



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