Grosjean promises no more first-lap crashes

 

Yeongam

Lotus' impetuous young driver Romain Grosjean yesterday acknowledged that he will be running on borrowed time if he gets involved in another first-lap collision with a rival at tomorrow's Korean Grand Prix.

Condemned in Suzuka last week by Red Bull's Mark Webber as "a first-lap nutcase" after he ran into the back of the Australian in the first corner, he has promised to clean up an act for which he has already received a one-race ban following a collision at the start of the Belgian GP.

"Since Singapore, I've been trying to be really cautious at the starts and it's been all the more frustrating to be involved in an incident in Japan," Grosjean said.

"When approaching the first corner, I was watching Sergio [Perez] on my left to make sure there was no contact with him. I didn't expect such a big speed difference between me and Mark braking into the corner, we collided and that was it.

"It was a stupid mistake. Mark came to see me after the race and was obviously not happy, but I apologised and we have to move on. I've sat down and looked at things again with the team; for sure, it's still an area we need to improve. We're clearly focusing on this area for the next races."

The Lotus principal, Eric Boullier, said: "In Suzuka, Romain made a small mistake by misjudging his pace relative to Mark, which was a bit higher. We have sat down and spoken about this. We understand what has to be done.

"I think in Singapore to an extent and in Suzuka he was almost trying to overcompensate by focusing on staying out of trouble, which in the last race had the opposite effect."

McLaren led the first practice session yesterday morning, but by the end of the day Red Bull had risen to the top two positions with an inevitability that was reminiscent of their dominance in 2011.

Where Lewis Hamilton had looked comfortable heading the times in the first session, he was struggling in the second as Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber waged war between themselves over the fastest time. Eventually Vettel pipped Webber by 0.032sec.

Though rivals tried to put a brave face on a crushing defeat by the Milton Keynes team a week ago in Japan, it is becoming increasingly obvious that revisions to the rear suspension have given Vettel and Webber a potent machine that now has excellent traction out of slow corners to add to some peerless aerodynamic performance in the fast corners. The grandly named Korean International Circuit is a mixture of both, with some boring twiddly bits thrown in.

"The first session seemed to be fine, then in the second one we made some set-up changes and I wasn't able to get the time out of the option tyre," Hamilton said. "The first session was fantastic. I don't really know what happened in the second. The wind direction changed but it didn't seem to affect anyone else.

"My biggest problem was a lot of understeer, particularly at the end of the last section, which was where I was losing most of the time.

"We just have to be calm tonight and try to figure out where we want to go with the settings of the car. It definitely has some pace – we just need to extract it."

His team-mate, Jenson Button said he was concerned about Red Bull's recent upturn. "They've got that four-tenths again in practice. And I think they're going to be very, very difficult to beat in qualifying," he said.

"They seem to have that strength back. Our race pace today seemed to be competitive, but over one lap we're still lacking so it's an area we need to work on. We were surprised by their pace in Suzuka. All the other cars around us, I don't think they were any quicker, they just did a better job in the race and we made it difficult for ourselves by starting further back."

Vettel, who has closed to within four points of Fernando Alonso's lead in the World Championship after back-to-back victories in Singapore and Suzuka, was his usual relaxed self when things have been going right.

"All in all we can be quite happy, but I think it looks extremely tight," Vettel said. "I'm not happy with every run we had today, but I think the track was changing quite a lot this morning; it was better than we expected. This afternoon it was quite slippery to start with, but then I think it got a little bit better, so all in all the car felt all right and now we see what we can do for tomorrow. I think we have to improve ourselves to match the others."

Suggested Topics
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
News
news
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week