Tag Archives: Romain Grosjean

Formula 1

Romain Grosjean

INTERVIEW WITH ROMAIN GROSJEAN: “I love going Brazilian” !

After a standout performance in Austin, Romain Grosjean looks ahead to the season finale at Interlagos hoping to end
the year on a high

Tell us about Interlagos; is it a track you like?
It’s a fantastic track; there’s really no part of it that isn’t great. It suits my driving style so I’m really looking forward to it.
The E21 has been performing really well this year and there’s no reason to think it won’t be a great car once again in
Brazil.

Is there a specific part of the track you like the most?
Everything! It’s a fantastically challenging track which never seems to let you relax. Even the main start-finish ‘straight’
isn’t boring as it starts uphill with some interesting camber, then gradually turns before finishing at the downhill turn one
where it’s so easy to out-brake yourself. If I had to pick favourite parts of Interlagos, I would say the first and last
corners. The first corner is really technical and punishes you if you get it wrong, while the last corner is so fast and really
puts quite a strain on your body. As a driver I really enjoy these corners. It’s one of the real classic old-style tracks so it’s
very hard to pick out a single element; I love it!

How difficult has it been taking the fight to the Red Bulls over the last few races?
They have a very fast car, of that there is no doubt! Sometimes we get a sniff of being able to chase Seb [Vettel], but
now he’s got the championship in the bag he’s got some additional confidence and speed which makes it all the more
difficult! Being able to chase and lead just one of the Red Bulls is really quite some achievement for the team and I’m so
grateful to everyone at Enstone for all their hard work throughout the season.

Why do you think the team is performing so well at the moment?
The whole team at the track and back at Enstone are doing an amazing job. The spirit of these guys is awesome; I
really can’t say enough about them. They come to the track or the factory having had just a few hours’ sleep after the
late night’s work the previous day, but they’re always happy to do anything they can to get the best from a weekend. We
drivers are always wanting more from a car, and they never stop trying to make that happen.

You had quite a fight with Mark Webber in Austin?
You know that Mark is very experienced and he’s never going to give up, so that certainly puts the pressure on. Equally,
it gives you very good motivation as you know there is no option to make a mistake as he will just take the place. It’s
really satisfying racing with such a good competitor, and also very satisfying when you’re the one who crosses the finish
line ahead.

Weather is usually quite a talking point in Brazil, with the altitude playing a factor. How will you approach the
weekend?
To be honest the weather and altitude is not something we can change and therefore we just have to deal with it. We
will plan our strategy well and just aim to be in a position to fit the right tyres at the right time. The good news is that
Brazil is closer to our normal time zone, so jet lag will be less hard to cure when we go back home!

What do you think of São Paulo and Brazil in general?
It’s a great place to end the season and I know the crew like visiting there. It’s been a long year, so I think everyone is
really looking forward to the end of season party which our sponsor burn is going to hold; that should be a great night!
Brazilian people are very friendly and there are some great places to eat. We’ll have a team meal with everyone before
the track action gets underway and that’s a pretty good way to say thank you for everyone’s efforts throughout the year.

How would you like to end the 2013 season?
Well it’s always fantastic to be on the podium and of course the top step is always our target. We won’t know how well
we and our opposition will perform until we’re out on track, but we’re certainly pushing to do the very best we can.

Formula 1

Japanese gp 2013

JAPANESE GP – RACE RESULTS: ANOTHER WIN FOR VETTEL—
 
SEBASTIAN VETTEL :“A very rewarding win today; it’s a great feeling. I love this track and it’s just fantastic to win here. It was a horrible start to be honest; we found ourselves sitting in third place and then tried to go longer in the first stint. I had great traction after I got past Romain and after that the only threat was Mark who got stuck behind Romain. We could then manage the gap until the end of the race. The Championship is the big target of course, but the season is very long still and the best way to wrap it up is not to think about it. I’m happy to go home for a bit now and to relax before we go out to India. That’s an impressive country and I’m looking forward to racing there in a couple of weeks.”
 
MARK WEBBER:
“We were on the back foot a bit after Romain’s great start. I wanted to put pressure on him for the win. Sebastian was on a different strategy to me and in the end it worked out pretty similar. It’s hard to know which was right (a two or three stop strategy), as we were trying to cover off Romain. I did my best and in the end it was a good result.”
 

Romain Grosjean:

“It’s really good to be back on the podium again.”

“Today was just a very, very good race. What a start! It was superb to go past both the Red Bulls like that and it’ll be one of my best memories of the year. The car was fantastic on the first set of tyres and we managed to pull away, but then the Red Bulls were able to reel us in later on. Ultimately, we were the only car to almost catch the bull. It’s been a great home race for my engineer; it’s always good to come to Japan and it’s really good to be back on the podium again.”

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A massive result for the team to achieve a one two in Japan. It was an exciting race that was dictated by the tyre strategy. We split the strategies between a three-stop for Mark and a two-stop for Seb, based on the expected tyre lives on the two cars. Both drivers managed to make it work to navigate their way past Romain Grosjean, in particularly brave moves down into Turn one. A great result for the Team and both Championships and congratulations to Renault for another one-two-three finish on the podium.”
 
THIERRY SALVI, Renault: “A perfect result for Renault today, and great to see us up there represented on the podium. We split strategies today for Mark and Seb and got a 1-2, which is of course good news for the Championship. However there are still four races to go so we’ll remain focused on the job in hand.” 
PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS                           

The Japanese Grand Prix                                         
Suzuka, Japan;                                                  
53 laps; 307.471km;                                             
Weather: Dry.                                                   

Classified:                                                     

Pos  Driver             Team                         Time  
 1.  Sebatian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault        1h37m410s           
 2.  Mark Webber        Red Bull-Renault            +7.1s           
 3.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault               +9.9s           
 4.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari                    +45.6s           
 5.  Kimi Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              +47.3s           
 6.  Nico Hulkenberg    Sauber-Ferrari             +51.6s           
 7.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari           +1m11.6s           
 8.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes                 +1m12.0s           
 9.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes         +1m20.8s           
10.  Felipe Massa       Ferrari                  +1m29.2s           
11.  Paul di Resta      Force India-Mercedes     +1m38.5s           
12.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +1 lap           
13.  Daniel Ricciardo   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +1 lap           
14.  Adrian Sutil       Force India-Mercedes       +1 lap           
15.  Sergio Perez       McLaren-Mercedes           +1 lap           
16.  Pastor Maldonado   Williams-Renault           +1 lap           
17.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Renault           +1 lap           
18.  Charlies Pic       Caterham-Renault           +1 lap           
19.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Cosworth          +1 lap           

Fastest lap: Mark Webber, 1m34.587s            

Not classified/retirements:                             

Driver               Team                         On lap      
Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes                          9               
Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault                  0               
Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth                 0               

World Championship standings, round 15:                 

Drivers:                    Constructors:              
 1.  Vettel        297        1.  Red Bull-Renault          445 
 2.  Alonso        207        2.  Ferrari                   297 
 3.  Raikkonen     177        3.  Mercedes                  277 
 4.  Hamilton      151        4.  Lotus-Renault             264 
 5.  Webber        148        5.  McLaren-Mercedes           83 
 6.  Rosberg       126        6.  Force India-Mercedes       62 
 7.  Massa          90        7.  Sauber-Ferrari             55 
 8.  Grosjean       87        8.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         31 
 9.  Button         60        9.  Williams-Renault            1 
10.  Hulkenberg     49                                          
11.  Di Resta       36                                          
12.  Sutil          26                                          
13.  Perez          23                                          
14.  Ricciardo      18                                          
15.  Vergne         13                                          
16.  Gutierrez       6                                          
17.  Maldonado       1

Formula 1

Romain Grosjean B&W

ROMAIN GROSJEAN CONFIRMED FOR 2013

Lotus F1 Team is pleased to announce that Romain Grosjean will partner Kimi Räikkönen in an unchanged driver line-up for the 2013 season.

This year, Romain made his return to Formula 1 with Lotus F1 Team. He finished on the podium in Bahrain (P3), Canada (P2) and Hungary (P3), finishing the Drivers’ Championship in eighth position with 96 points.

Romain Grosjean : “It’s fantastic for me to be continuing with Lotus F1 Team for 2013. It’s superb to have the support of everyone at Enstone. I’m really looking forward to rewarding their faith when we take to the track in Australia. I learnt a lot in my first full season in Formula 1 and my aim is to put these lessons into practice with stronger and more consistent performance on track next year. There are a lot of exciting developments occurring behind the scenes at Enstone and I am very excited with the prospect of the E21. I’ve already had my seat fitting and spoken with all the personnel involved with the build of the new car ; I just can’t wait to get behind the wheel.”

Eric Boullier, Team Principal : “Romain is a great talent and we are pleased that he is continuing with us for a second season. With the continuity of two exceptional drivers like Romain and Kimi we are well placed to build on our strong 2012 with even better results in the year ahead. Both drivers worked very well together in their first year as team-mates, and I think there is the potential of even better things from the season ahead. We were regular visitors to podiums in 2012 and we certainly intend to continue with this trend in 2013.”

ROC

REIGNING CHAMPION OGIER PARTNERS GROSJEAN FOR TEAM FRANCE

Reigning ‘Champion of Champions’ Sébastien Ogier and Formula 1’s Romain Grosjean will compete for Team France at ROC 2012 in Bangkok World Rally Championship ace Ogier shocked last year’s superstar line-up to win on his Race Of Champions debut Grosjean has taken three F1 podiums for Lotus in 2012 since his return to the top flight after winning the GP2 Series The pair join a star-studded field including F1 world champions Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel for ROC 2012 on December 14-16
Team France will have a strong line-up at the 2012 Race Of Champions as reigning ROC ‘Champion of Champions’ Sébastien Ogier returns to defend his title alongside Formula 1 star Romain Grosjean. The French duo will team up for their home country at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium in the ROC Nations Cup on December 15 before competing for individual glory in the Race Of Champions on December 16.

Ogier has already climbed that summit, having fended off all comers to win the Race Of Champions on his ROC debut last year. In the Grand Final, he defeated Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen 2-0 to seal the ‘Champion of Champions’ title. That capped off a glorious year in which he won five World Rally Championship rallies, narrowly missing out on the title. In 2012 he switched to the Skoda Fabia S2000 in preparation for Volkswagen’s WRC arrival in 2013. First he aims to double up at ROC Bangkok.

Ogier said: “It’s a real honour to compete in the Race Of Champions. I’ve followed it since it was in Gran Canaria so it was amazing to win at my first attempt last year. There were a lot of new cars to learn, plus the track as well, but I pushed hard all the way and I had a lot of fun out there. This year it will be nice to team up with Romain again and we’ll do our best to take Team France all the way this time as well. Overall it’s a good party and a great way to end the year.”

Grosjean made his Race Of Champions debut last year too, reaching the semi-final of the ROC Nations Cup alongside Ogier for Team France. He also won two of his three races in his individual group before being knocked out by Kristensen and F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel on countback of fastest times. Grosjean has since returned to F1, with a string of strong results for Lotus in 2012 including podiums in Bahrain, Canada and Hungary. Now he seeks ROC glory in Bangkok to cap off his season.

Grosjean said: “The Race Of Champions is special and I’m proud to be in the line-up again alongside such big names from so many different areas of motor sport. It’s a great show seeing these guys driving all the cars to the limit and I hope Team France can achieve something too. Sébastien did a fantastic job to win the individual event last year and it was a pity we were knocked out in the ROC Nations Cup semi-finals. We will aim to go a bit further this time but the main thing is to have fun and to put on a show for the crowds in the stadium.”

Race organiser Fredrik Johnsson added: “We are delighted to have Sébastien and Romain back at the Race Of Champions for a second year. Sébastien announced his ROC arrival in style with victory at the first attempt last year so he will be one of the favourites for success again. Romain was unlucky not to make further progress too, so even the megastars at ROC 2012 will want to avoid Team France in the draw.”

The Race Of Champions, which is being staged for the 25th consecutive year in 2012, brings together the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s main disciplines – including Formula 1, world rally, touring cars, Le Mans, MotoGP, IndyCar and the X-Games – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery.

ROC 2012 will take place on a specially constructed tarmac track with two parallel lanes winding their way round Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium. Drivers pair up for the ROC Nations Cup, this year scheduled for Saturday 15 December, ahead of the individual Race Of Champions on Sunday 16 December.

Tickets are now on sale. For further information and access to hi-res imagery please visit www.raceofchampions.com. Sign up for all the latest updates at www.raceofchampions.com, @raceofchampions on Twitter or Race Of Champions on Facebook.

Drivers confirmed for the 2012 Race Of Champions:

  • Michael SCHUMACHER, seven-time Formula 1 World Champion
  • Sebastian VETTEL, Formula 1 World Champion 2012, 2011, 2010
  • Jorge LORENZO, MotoGP World Champion 2012, 2010
  • Mick DOOHAN, five-time 500cc MotoGP World Champion
  • Ryan HUNTER-REAY, IndyCar Series Champion 2012
  • Jamie WHINCUP, V8 Supercar Champion 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008
  • David COULTHARD, 13-time Formula 1 grand prix winner
  • Andy PRIAULX, three-time World Touring Car Champion
  • Tom KRISTENSEN, eight-time Le Mans 24-Hour race winner
  • Romain GROSJEAN, three Formula 1 podiums in 2012
  • Sébastien OGIER, seven WRC wins and reigning ROC ‘Champion of Champions’

 

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: www.estebanracing.com

Gutierrez Goes GP2

Abu Dhabi: The sands of time and winds of change are blowing at the Yas Marina circuit. GP2, the official feeder series to the gates of heaven for its drivers, is in full swing in preparation for the Asian series which begins next weekend.

The established and experienced stars of the series are expected to engage in an F1-career making ‘battle royale’, both in the Asian version and the main series which will get under way in Istanbul in May.

Romain Grosjean set the pace on day one. The Geneva-based banker has previous, albeit brief, F1 experience. Now part of Gravity Management Romain has been knocking on F1’s door for some time with results to warrant a full time ride. At the age of 24, Grosjean’s only goal is to win the GP2 Championship this year. No excuses, no part time rides in Auto GP or FIA GT championships.

Jules Bianchi, from the south of France, has racing pedigree and multiple-championships to his name to warrant a seat in F1 next season. He placed a very credible third in his rookie GP2 season last year and is one of the favorites for the title this year. The 21-year old is also a proud member of Ferrari Driver Academy, and with Nicolas Todt managing his career the future is bright for the Brignoles boy.

Landing a victory in his rookie season at Monza gave Sam Bird high confidence and this year, now with iSport International, the 24-year old English driver is a serious contender for the championship. Last year he was fifth overall and apart from five podium finishes he also recorded four fastest laps.

Photo: www.estebanracing.com

Enter Esteban: It was only four years ago, near Salt Lake City, Utah that an young unknown Mexican driver made his motor racing debut by claiming pole position for both the opening races of the 2007 Formula BMW USA championship.

Fast forward to 2011 and Esteban Gutierrez has become the Monterrey Monster. In the last three years he has won two very competitive championships; the 2008 Formula BMW Europe and the inaugural GP3 series last year.

The 19-year old is teammate to Bianchi this year at renamed Lotus-ART team. Gutierrez will be racing against much more experienced drivers but if recent history is any indication most of them will be chasing the Rookie.

On Wednesday, the opening day of practice at the Yas Marina circuit, Gutierrez could only manage 34 laps due to a sand storm. Now there’s your first surprise of the season! The morning session saw him record 14th fastest time but in the afternoon session he was comfortably in top 10. His best time of 1m 50.727s placed him eighth.

The second day scenery shifted from sand storm to dense fog resulting in a delay of over two hours. James Jakes accident cut sort the final session by another 15 minutes. Esteban, eager to log more and faster laps, was left stranded with 13th fastest time.

Gutierrez reflected on two days of testing in the desert on his website www.estebanracing.com “There were two days of training but unfortunately we were not able to take advantage of them because of the weather. We didn’t complete our program and for that reason we have to be very efficient in the last two days.

“In the end we were able to do some basic stuff that in a way will help us understand the car better, once we have analyzed the data. We have to continue working and remain focused on our own program, not comparing ourselves to the other teams.

“The objective is not only to be quick, but also get to understand the car better under every situation that is presented to us during the season.”

Esteban and the GP2 entourage take to the track again next Sunday and Monday.

The 2011 GP2 Asia series will consist of six races, Yas Marina hosting the opening round, February 10-12. Bahrain will host the final two rounds, February 17-19, and the F1 support event, March 11-13.

— Nasir Hameed

Greetings and GP2 regards.

Motorsports Mondial

CHAMPIONS OF 2010

GP3 – ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ

The Lion of Nuevo León

Like the lion roars in the jungle, this young Mexican driver has been rip roaring through the competition. Marking his territory, from Salt Lake City to Spa-Francorchamps.

In three years of racing in the cut-throat world of European jungle, Esteban Gutierrez has claimed two dominant championships. And in 2011 he will enter the final frontier before Formula 1, GP2 with Lotus-ART team.

Esteban triumphed this year in the inaugural season of GP3 Series, created by the same people who are behind the highly successful GP2 Series, Bruno Michel & Company.

GP3 turbo machine.

The Dallara-built car is powered by a Renault-turbo engine while Pirelli supplies the rubber. The car made its track debut in June 2009 at Paul Ricard in the south of France in the capable hands of Romain Grosjean.

The Geneva-born and based banker and F1 aspirant was impressed by the new race car.

“This is a great car! Compared to Formula 3 car, the acceleration is better and speeds in fast corners are similar. The paddle shift on the steering is also a great addition to a car that will definitely prepare GP3 drivers to step into the next category, GP2,” Grosjean commented after the initial shakedown.

Mark Webber, who co-owns MW Arden team in GP3 with Christian Horner, also tested the car in November last year at the same track and was equally enthusiastic.

“I can honestly say it is like driving a small F1 car,” assured the Australian.

Season of domination.

Gutierrez was on the go as soon as the pre-season testing commenced, posting some of the fastest times both at Paul Ricard and Circuit de Catalunya.

The birth of the new series in Barcelona, as a support race to Spanish Grand Prix, saw a difficult wet-dry conditions in qualifying which saw Dutch driver Nigel Melker grab pole position and a surprised Pal Varhaug of Norway sharing the front row with him. Varhaug led the race from start to finish to become the first ever race winner in GP3 Series.

Gutierrez started his charge from the fourth row and was in third place by the end of the opening lap. The remaining laps saw a great battle between Gutierrez and Robert Wickens for second place. The Canadian was able to hold off Gutierrez.

The reverse grid for second race of top eight finishers from Saturday’s event saw Gutierrez start sixth, and he was on the podium again, this time returning the favor and holding off Wickens for third place. The race was won by Gutierrez’s ART teammate from northern California, Alexander Rossi, who started from pole courtesy of his eighth place finish in race one of the weekend.

The Gutierrez gun got blazing in round two. He started the opening race of round two in Istanbul from front row and put in a Pasha performance of complete and utter domination. He led from start to finish and was over 10-seconds ahead of runner-up James Jakes.

Victory also gave Gutierrez the championship lead.

Second race of the weekend saw maiden win for Indonesian driver Rio Haryanto. Gutierrez kept his championship lead despite placing seventh.

The streets of Valencia gave Gutierrez his first pole position of the season, and he made the most of it by leading the race from start to finish. His fastest lap on the final lap gave him a bonus point which helped him to extend his championship lead over Wickens, who finished second.

The opening lap of race two on Sunday saw Gutierrez and Wickens collide, spinning the Mexican driver to the bottom of the field and sending the Canadian to the pit lane for a drive-through penalty. Gutierrez raced hard but finished out of the points in seventh but with championship lead still intact.

The race was won by the Swiss driver Nico Müller.

The Silverstone show placed Gutierrez on pole from which he scored his third successive feature win of the season, setting the fastest lap on the final tour of the circuit. Indonesian star Rio Haryanto chased hard all the way to second place finish.

Starting Sunday’s race two in eighth place Gutierrez charged through the field to fight for second place with Italian Mirko Bortolotti, the duel intensified resulting in Gutierrez squeezed out on the grass on the final lap. This allowed his teammate Rossi to fight for the final podium finish which both fought with fierce determination, the Californian claiming third place finish by a mere 0.08s.

The race was won by Canadian Daniel Morad, his first win of the season.

There was more Canadian success in the opening race of the following round at Hockenheimring. Robert Wickens, who, like Morad, hails from Toronto, scored his first win of the season. Gutierrez finished fourth.

The second German race gave Gutierrez win number four of the season. This put him 30 points ahead of second place Wickens and 38 points ahead of third man, teammate Rossi.

The Hungarian round saw front row finish in the same position, pole-sitter Nico Müller taking the win from Gutierrez, the Mexican had matched his lap time in qualifying but the Swiss driver’s time was set first and was, thus, awarded pole position.

Sunday’s round two in Budapest almost ended in an American one-two. Alexander Rossi led the race from start from to finish over pole-sitter Josef Newgarden, who hails from Tennessee, but his car stopped only three laps from the end.

Gutierrez came in fifth. Wickens, despite finishing second, was now 35 points behind Gutierrez with only two rounds remaining.

The fabled Spa-Francorchamps witnessed a bizarre rain sodden race where Robert Wickens crashed while leading, managed to get going again and then wisely ran the clock out after the safety car came in with only 30 seconds remaining in the race.

Gutierrez failed to score any points and was unable to fire up the championship celebrations in the Ardennes forest.

Both title contenders, Gutierrez and Wickens, failed to score in race two, which saw an impressive win by Adrien Tambay. The son of ex-Ferrari Grand Prix driver Patrick was not a regular in the series. At Spa on Sunday he stayed on slick tires in the closing stages only to face rain falling again. He put on a great display of defensive driving to win ahead of Alexander Rossi.

The magical Monza was going to stage the season finale. But with an 18-point lead from maximum 20 points available, the wind and win was going Gutierrez’s way.

The Monza moment came before the race even started. Gutierrez took pole and bonus point made him GP3’s first ever champion. But he saved the best for last. Having lost the lead at the start, Gutierrez was third with three laps remaining. His relentless pursuit resulted in fifth win of the season

Sunday’s final race of the season at the Temple of Speed saw Wickens forced his way for an impressive win after starting seventh. After winning the race on Saturday Gutierrez started next to Wickens, but an off-course excursion while attempting a pass on Roberti Merhi going into Parabolica resulted in his only dnf of the season.

The new champion explained his season campaign to Autosport: “From the beginning our main focus was not only to win races and to win the championship, but to be consistent through the whole season. And in the end we have been able to keep a high level of consistency, and we have been working to improve ourselves and not think too much about the other guys. We’ve just tried to do our best and focus on the job. Every mechanic, every engineer did his job and we had a really good synergy and a really good attitude. Everyone was really positive all the time, even in the hard times.”


Esteban Gutierrez was born in Monterrey in the Mexican state of Nuevo León on August 5, 1991. His racing career started in Utah at the Miller Motorsports Park, near Salt Lake City. He grabbed pole positions for the first two races of his career in the 2007 Formula BMW US Championship. He was Rookie of the Year at season’s end. The following year he captured the European version of the same series, winning seven races, six of them in a row.

In 2009, he competed in the F3 Euro Series and finished in the top ten in the championship. His success this year has marked him as a star of the future. He is now signed as third driver for Sauber F1 team and posted very impressive times in recent GP2 testing in Abu Dhabi.

If Esteban can pull-off a Hamilton or Hulkenberg and win the GP2 Championship in his rookie season against experienced hands, from Bianchi and Bird to Turvey and Filippi, the roar of Mexican Hat Dance will be heard around the world.

— Nasir Hameed.

Buenos Dias from California.

All photos courtesy of www.estebangtz.com and Marks Granados.