Grosjean eager to get past first lap safely

© Ubaid Parkar, 13 October 2012
© AP Photo/Wally Santana

Labelled as a ‘first-lap nutcase’, Romain Grosjean is keen to prove that he has a lot more to show than his recent incidents at the start of a Grand Prix.

The Frenchman has been involved in several collisions on the opening laps of races this season, compromising not just his own outings but also his competitors’ – particularly championship contenders.

At the Belgian Grand Prix last month, he took out Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, for which he was banned for one race, and last weekend in Japan he collided into Mark Webber, earning a stop-go penalty and angering the Australian.

But the Lotus driver is confident that he can put all that and the first lap behind him at Sunday’s Korean Grand Prix, which he will start from seventh place.

"I think drivers will play with the fact that they know I am in a bit of a difficult situation, that's not a secret," Grosjean was quoted saying by Reuters. "But never mind. I'll do what I need to do. I have done hundreds of starts in my life.

"It's a work in progress,” he added. “Staying out of trouble, that's the plan."

Felipe Massa qualified in sixth, ahead of Grosjean, but the Brazilian has no concerns about potentially being the latest victim.

"He was in a bit of trouble in the starts so I think he suffers already a lot with that," the Ferrari driver said. "I think he needs to be careful and understand how to do the starts.

“I hope he understands that... he's a clever guy and a good driver as well so I'm sure it's not a difficult thing to learn," Massa added.

 

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