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Grosjean: Spa result ‘wonderful’ for Lotus

23 Aug 2015

Sunday’s Belgian race saw Lotus return to the podium for the first time since the United States Grand Prix in 2013 thanks to a superb drive from Romain Grosjean at Spa-Francorchamps.

Despite starting ninth after a gearbox-change penalty, Grosjean delivered a measured performance to come home third behind the two Mercedes, lifting Lotus back into fifth place in the constructors’ standings.

“Today’s result is wonderful,” said Grosjean. “It’s good for the team and for myself of course. Yesterday’s good qualifying result put a smile on my face but today was an unbelievable race. Everything came together when it mattered during those 43 laps. I drove with my heart today and pushed 100 percent throughout the race.”

After moving through the field, the race’s closing stages saw Grosjean pressuring Sebastian Vettel for the final podium position, only for a tyre failure on the Ferrari to unexpectedly settle the matter in the Frenchman’s favour less than two laps from home.

“I did some great overtaking manoeuvers and was really pushing to catch up and hopefully overtake Sebastian,” added Grosjean. “Of course it was bad luck for him to have had the tyre issue at the end. We were really trying to go for the podium this afternoon and I felt very emotional during the last lap of the race! It’s a great feeling today.”

It was not all good news for Lotus, however, with Grosjean’s team mate Pastor Maldonado retiring on the second lap with technical issues, having started a promising seventh on the grid.

“We haven’t looked at everything on Pastor’s car yet but we know there was a big excursion over the kerbs which appears to have caused some damage to the power box so a big shame as he should also have achieved a strong result here," said technical director Nick Chester.

Congratulating Grosjean on his excellent drive, deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi commented: "What an amazing job from Romain today and we all thank all the hard work of everyone at Enstone and here at the circuit in Belgium. It’s no secret that it’s been a tough season for us in some ways, but we certainly know how to pick our moments to bounce back.

“Our joy for Romain and the team is a little bittersweet because of the retirement for Pastor, who started his race ahead of Romain so could have finished equally strongly. We will do everything we can to get both cars in strong positions in Monza.”

Grosjean moves up to ninth in the drivers' standings on 38 points, 12 ahead of Max Verstappen in 10th and 13 behind Daniel Ricciardo in eighth.