Grosjean earns Lotus a first podium finish for two years

Romain Grosjean on his way to third place at Spa NNL-150824-162715002
Romain Grosjean on his way to third place at Spa NNL-150824-162715002

The Lotus F1 Team returned to the podium for the first time since the 2013 US Grand Prix thanks to a superb drive from Romain Grosjean in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Despite a five-place grid penalty, Grosjean delivered an exceptionally measured performance including setting a race fastest lap.

I felt very emotional during the last lap of the race, it’s a great feeling.

Romain Grosjean

With Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Lewis Hamilton winning the race at Spa-Francorchamps and Brackley team-mate Nico Rosberg taking second place, Banburyshire teams took all three spots on the podium.

Grosjean’s joy was tempered by a second lap retirement for Enstone team-mate Pastor Maldonado after his car lost drive.

But Grosjean’s result means Lotus return to fifth position in the FIA Constructors’ Championship.

Grosjean said: “It’s good for the team and for myself of course. Everything came together when it mattered during those 43 laps.

“I drove with my heart today and pushed 100 per cent throughout the race. I did some great overtaking manoeuvers and was really pushing to catch up and hopefully overtake Sebastian Vettel.

“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.”

Deputy team boss Federico Gastaldi said: “It was an amazing job from Romain and all the hard work of everyone at Enstone and here at the circuit.

“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. We will do everything we can to get both cars in strong positions at Monza.”

Maldonado added: “We had been doing a great job this weekend. The car was feeling very good, very competitive and I had a good race start.

“We had an issue with the drive of the car which the team are investigating. I’m disappointed about the issue we had but that’s racing sometimes.

“We are keeping focussed for the next race now and Romain has shown what is possible. I love Italy and Monza so I’ll be doing everything I can for a strong result there.”