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MOTORSPORT: Grosjean eyes up clean start
10:00am Saturday 13th October 2012 in Sport
Romain Grosjean has vowed to take a careful approach to the opening lap of tomorrow's Korean Grand Prix, in order to avoid letting down the staff at the Lotus factory in Oxfordshire.
The Frenchman has shown impressive speed on the occasions he has kept himself out of trouble, but all too often his Enstone-built Lotus has been at the centre of first-lap carnage.
Grosjean, having only just returned from a one-race ban for his role in a pile-up at Spa, was involved in his eighth opening lap incident of the year in Japan last weekend.
He crashed into Mark Webber, who dubbed Grosjean a “first-lap nutcase”.
The 26-year-old admitted the problem needed solving to do justice to the efforts of the workforce at the Oxfordshire factory.
He said: “I am not happy with the way we have been going through the first laps.
“There are 550 people working at Enstone to give us the best car and if you ruin everything in the first 110 metres it is not good.
“I am conscious of all that and will try to take as many precautions as possible to go through the first lap – and then normally in the race we are OK.”
Pastor Maldonado had a more successful race at Suzuka, finishing eighth.
It was his first points finish since winning the Spanish Grand Prix in May and the Venezuelan, who drives for the Grove-based Williams team, is looking for more at Yeongam.
He said: “We must stay together as a team when we have these kind of problems, we have not lost confidence in ourselves, we are getting stronger.
“It is a circle, I have had bad times and now it is back to normal which is good for the team and myself.”
Drivers' standings (top ten): 1 F Alonso 194pts, 2 S Vettel 190, 3 K Raikkonen 157, 4 L Hamilton 152, 5 M Webber 134, 6 J Button 131, 7 N Rosberg 93, 8 R Grosjean 82, 9 F Massa 69, 10 S Perez 66.